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Formidable Snow Pack Means Good News For Farmers

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Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Valley

The Merced River flows through Yosemite Valley (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — This year’s formidable Sierra snowpack has brought good news to California farmers and cities that have endured years of drought.

But officials warn that all that melting snow could also create hazardous conditions in rivers and streams this spring and summer.

In Yosemite National Park, where winter snows are likely to delay the opening of a major road, the Merced River is expected to be unusually high and fast-moving.

State officials say rivers, streams and reservoirs are also likely to be colder than usual.

The final snow survey of the month earlier this month found the water content in the snowpack was 144 percent of normal, allowing the state to provide 80 percent of the water requested by its contractors.

The snowpack supplies 25 million California residents and almost a million acres of farmland.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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