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Heavy rains, strong winds hit Central Valley
Free sandbags available for Turlockers
flooding pic1
City of Turlock Municipal Services workers Rick Hunt (left), Ronnie Bizzack (center) and Steve Torres (right) fill sandbags on Friday in preparation for heavy rain. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER / The Journal

While the official start of winter is still a few days away, the season’s first big storm has arrived early. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued flood and wind advisories for Stanislaus County — and the entire Central Valley area — through today.

The NWS predicted rainfall rates to exceed an inch an hour as a cold front moves through the region. Along with heavy rain, strong winds are expected in the area throughout the weekend and into early next week.

From now through Wednesday, the NWS has predicted rainfall to reach two to four inches in the Central Valley and three to six inches in the Sierra Footballs. Winds are expected to reach 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph possible.

The NWS recommended that conditions around rivers and creeks be monitored carefully as these areas could become very dangerous due to rapidly rising waters.

In preparation for the storm, City of Turlock maintenance workers have been busy making sandbags.

“We’ve been making sandbags for about a week, preparing for the winter weather,” said City of Turlock Municipal Services Supervisor Ray Garcia. “We have 1,000 to 1,500 sandbags on standby at the (city) yard.”

Up to 10 sandbags are available for citizens of Turlock to pick up at 901 S. Walnut Rd., in the parking lot of the wastewater treatment plant.

Because of the expected storm, sandbags will be available 24 hours a day. If citizens come to pick up sandbags and they are all gone, city workers can be reached by calling 668-5590 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays or 668-1200 on weekends and afterhours. The city will deliver sandbags to disabled residents who call and request them.

There is no charge for sandbags, but disposal is the responsibility of the citizen.

To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.