The first storm of the season is set to hit today with strong winds and heavy rain forecast prompting the National Weather Service to issue warnings for most of Northern California, including the Central Valley.
Gusty winds are expected to reach 30 to 50 miles per hour across portions of the Central Valley and are likely to bring down small branches and weakened trees, causing local power outages, according to the National Weather Service.
While Turlock is expected to see up to a half of inch of rain over the weekend, mountain areas could have up to 5 inches of rainfall.
The weather service's warning also includes looking out for loose objects, including Halloween decorations, and pooling of water on roads.
Residents of Turlock who may experience flooding can head to the City's Municipal Services department and pick up free sandbags. Turlock residents can pick up sandbags for use during storm events to prevent damage and flooding on their property, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 901 S. Walnut Ave.
If flooding occurs on city streets residents can clean debris from the grating, but the City requests individuals do not remove storm grates or manhole covers, as doing so will create safety and security problems.
The Turlock Irrigation District will have line crews available all weekend, should there be any disruptions to electrical service due to the storm, said TID spokesperson Calvin Curtin.
If the power goes out and doesn’t come back on within a few minutes, TID electrical customers are urged to check and see if other homes or businesses in their neighborhood are without power, whether by talking to neighbors or taking a glance outside. If you are the only one without power, the problem may be with your circuit breaker box or service panel. TID advises cautiously locating your service panel and checking to see if the main circuit breaker has flipped to the “off” or “trip” position. If the power is still out after resetting the circuit breaker, customers are urged to contact TID’s Service Division at 883-8301.
If there is a larger power outage, TID recommends turning off all lights, switches and surge protectors, with the exception of one light, to avoid electrical overload when the power returns. TID also recommends unplugging sensitive electronics to prevent damage when service is restored.
If the storm should cause a power line to fall, do not approach it and assume all downed wires, whether they are connected or not are energized. Those who come across a downed power line should call 911 and report the emergency by telling the operator the location of the incident.
Hurricane force winds are forecast over the eastern Pacific Ocean, with gusts inland of 50 to 60+ mph as a strong cold front approaches, according to the National Weather Service. Coastal areas are expected to be affected by high waves and rapid rain runoff from terrain, especially over burn scars from recent wildfires, which may lead to debris flows or mudslides over the next several days.
For Turlock, the chance of rain diminishes to 30 to 50 percent over the weekend, with Monday forecast to have a slight chance of rain.