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Clean-up begins for Denair in wake of tornado
tornado pic 1
Residents in Denair have much to clean up and repair after a tornado blew through town on Sunday afternoon. - photo by Photo Contributed

The winds have long since died down and residents of Denair are now beginning the task of repairing all the damage and wreckage brought to town by a tornado.

The EF-1 tornado, as classified by the National Weather Service, touched down twice in the Denair area, with winds raging at 86 to 111 miles per hour on Sunday afternoon.

The tornado traversed a three-mile path near E. Zeering Road and had two reported touch downs as it moved to the east. The first reported touchdown was at 1:45 p.m. in Denair and the second was reported at 2 p.m. in an area between Denair and Hughson.

There were no reported injuries from the tornado, but it did cause plenty of damage to structures in Denair. Toppled trees, torn roofs, broken windows, and fallen fences pepper several Denair neighborhoods. The damage estimate has climbed to just slightly over $488,000 according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Anthony Bejaran said the estimate could increase or decrease at a later date depending on the outcome of the evaluations yet to be done.

With some residences and properties left vulnerable to the elements, and thieves looking to prosper on others misfortune, the sheriff’s department is increasing patrol activity in Denair when possible, Bejaran said.

The sheriff’s department is also asking residents to be mindful of any suspicious activity or people in the area and report it immediately to the department.

They are also encouraging people to get out and meet their neighbors, so they have a better idea of people’s coming and goings. If it can’t be done in person, there are digital avenues, like Nextdoor and Facebook, which can help neighbors connect with one another, Bejaran suggested.

Another site that is bound to increase in Denair is that of contractors vans and trucks, but the California Contractors State License Board is warning residents not to be too eager to hire someone, no matter how good the deal may seem.

Before hiring a contractor or signing any documents for repairs, the California Contractors State License Board offers the following basic advice:

• Don’t rush into repairs, no matter how badly they are needed.

• Get at least three bids. Don’t hire the first contractor who comes along.

• Be cautious about door-to-door offers of repair services and flyers or business cards that are left at your property.

• Ask friends, family, and associates for recommendations about contractors they have hired.

• Never pay in cash.

• Even for the smallest job, get proof that the person you are dealing with has a contractor license for the type of work that needs to be done.

• Get a written contract that details every aspect of the work plan.

To check to see if a contractor is licensed or not, visit