Rural California Levees Pounded By Wet Winter

Federal and state workers are joining farmers in round-the-clock repairs to levees in California's saturated Central Valley, where the wet winter has dams and waterways near or past capacity.

Billions of dollars of flood projects in the past two decades have eased fears of levee breaks in Sacramento and other Central Valley cities.But flood experts say levees protecting farms and farm towns also need billions of dollars in maintenance and upgrades.

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San Joaquin County emergency spokesman Rex Osborn says state crews, federal engineers and others are joining farmers working nonstop to spot and repair weak spots in levees before the earth and rock barriers can break.

Authorities fear that a single levee failure could trigger a chain reaction of levee breaks.

This comes as Governor Brown on Friday called for more infrastructure spending after this month's emergency at Oroville Dam.  He told reporters that California needs to spend 187-billion dollars to upgrade infrastructure, including 50-billion on dams.  Brown is hoping the federal government will do prompt regulatory action and increased funding to improve dam safety.

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