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City Of Marysville Asking For Volunteers To Help Monitor Levees

MARYSVILLE (CBS13) – The city of Marysville bracing for another round of storms and hoping to avoid a disaster.

Officials say they need volunteers to help check the levees for weak spots. There are about seven miles of levees that need to be checked for holes from animals and erosion, and city leaders say they need qualified volunteers.

"We are not used to it; we're used to being in a drought, so with everything high, it's a little worrisome," said a woman visiting the river.

Plenty of onlookers stopped to see the Yuba River running higher than ever.

"It was a tremendous impact," said Marysville Levee Commissioner John Nicoletti.

He said the levees were built to protect the city from floods, but after several years of a drought, they're being put to the test.

"Right now we are only in January, this could have an effect clear into June," he said.

The Yuba River is sitting right where it's supposed to, but after this weekend's storms, it rose more than halfway up the levee. Officials fear the upcoming storm on Tuesday could bring it back up even higher.

"The greatest concern that I have is our hospital," he said.

Surrounded by levees, Marysville is like a fishbowl. One break could put the city under.

Nicoletti said rodents tend to be the levees' weakest link.

"In the Sacramento River a few years back, there was a hole that they borrowed straight through the bottom of the levee, and if you laid on the ground, you could look through and see the Sacramento River," he said.

That's why officials need qualified volunteers to check the levees for weak spots.

"We need to go through safety instructions with people, but we also need to give examples and show examples where water maybe bubbling through," he said.

While work needs to be done to the levees, Nicoletti hopes in the meantime they can do enough to weather the next storm.

Levee volunteers need to own a cellphone and be physically able to handle working dangerous conditions. They'll receive training to spotting problem areas.

If you're interesting in volunteering, you're urged to contact the Marysville Levee Commission through city hall. That phone number is (530) 749-3901.

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