The storm that dropped a deluge of rain on Turlock Thursday night may have felled some trees and caused localized street flooding in multiple areas of town, which kept city crews busy throughout the night, but on the whole left Turlock fairly unscathed, according to city officials.
The wind gusts began early Thursday, ushering in the rain, which started falling in the early afternoon and didn’t stop until about 12 hours later. All together, Turlock received an estimated 2.86 inches of rain during the 12-hour time, said Turlock Municipal Services Director Michael Cooke.
“Considering the severity of the storm, the City's stormwater collection system worked very well,” Cooke said. “City staff worked hard to prepare for the storm and investments in the stormwater system over the past 20 years have reduced the impacts of such storms on our citizens. Also, excellent teamwork from our Public Facilities, Utility, and Electrical Mechanical maintenance workers helped alleviate the effects of the storm on the community.”
The large amount of rain did cause the City’s storm basins to reach the near capacity level, which hasn’t been the case in about a decade, Cooke said. On Friday the Turlock Irrigation District granted the City permission to drain the Donnelly Lake and Dianne Pond basins into their Lateral 4 canal at Canal Drive to make room for another storm expected to hit Monday.
City crews worked throughout the night pumping out flooded streets and helping residents keep the water at bay.
“Because of the large volume of rain in such a short period, there was some surcharging of the stormwater collection system which resulted in some localized street flooding,” Cooke said. "Staff from the Utilities Division and Public Facilities Maintenance Division worked diligently to place sandbags in areas that appeared at-risk from flooding. We are not aware, however, of any flood damage to private property.”
The City distributed hundreds of free sand bags Wednesday to residents preparing for the storm. Just between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, crews gave out sand bags to 68 residents trying to stave off the water, said Allison Van Guilder, the city’s director of Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities.
All the fallen leaves caused flooding issues as well when they clogged the storm drains and catch basins. The leaves also caused clogs that caused some storm pumps to not function properly and caused the electrical circuit breakers to trip, Cooke said.
”Service was quickly restored to these pump stations by our Electrical Mechanical Maintenance staff,” Cooke said.
The storm also kept emergency responders busier than normal. The Turlock Fire Department responded to 30 calls between 8 a.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday, while a typical day nets about 16 calls for service, said Turlock Fire Chief Tim Lohman. In addition to typical calls such as medical issues and accidents, the fire department was dealing with downed wires and flooding issues.
“Because of the storm our call volume did increase but the good news is that all of the calls were minor in nature and the city handled the rain and wind well,” Lohman said.
An additional storm system is expected to pass over Turlock, with the first drops falling on Monday and lasting off and on through Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.