Forceful winds blew through the Central Valley on Monday, downing trees and knocking out power during a mayhem-filled day in Turlock.
A red flag warning was issued by the National Weather Service for Turlock and surrounding areas on Monday, with gusts of up to 47 miles per hour recorded locally. Though the warning continued through Tuesday, winds let up in the afternoon. The damage, however, had already been done.
The City of Turlock’s Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department reported 43 downed trees and limbs from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday, with many blocking streets and sidewalks. The Turlock Fire Department spent the day responding to the fallen trees as well as incidents related to electrical lines, and some homes were evacuated due to live wires.
Turlock Nursery School on Grant Street was forced to cut class short on Monday after a large tree fell outside of the building, damaging power lines. The school shared on Facebook that there was no damage to the building and that no children were hurt.
“As a parent participation school, our enrolled families could not be more proud of our teachers and kiddos for their collective quick thinking, calm approach, and willingness to adapt the day to follow emergency responder directions,” Turlock Nursery School said. “Our students were prepared to listen and react after learning about Community Helpers in their last unit and are all the more prepared to navigate new uncertain situations in the future.”
With downed power lines came power outages, and Turlock Irrigation District crews were busy throughout the day responding to 11 different outages throughout their service territory. There were 2,000 total TID customers affected, Communications Division Manager Constance Anderson said, and the largest outage was in Turlock affecting 1,100 homes.
Power was restored to Turlock homes on Monday in less than an hour, she added, though outages continued into Tuesday as winds of up to 30 mph continued.
“Outages are not uncommon during wind events like we saw yesterday, and that are continuing to a lesser degree today,” Anderson said via email on Tuesday. “We are thankful for our crews — in the field, in the office and in our Power Control Center – who respond, around the clock, to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”
Though winds will be calm by Monday, Anderson reminded the community of proper measures to take during outages:
· If you experience power loss for longer than a minute should call TID’s 24-hour service line at 209-883-8301. You can also find more information about current outages at tid.org/outages.
· Stay far away from downed power lines and never touch them. If a person locates a downed power line or power pole, they should immediately call 911 or TID’s 24-hour service line at 209-883-8301.
· Do not attempt to clear branches or debris from downed power lines. Always assume downed power lines are energized. Do not attempt to rescue someone in contact with a downed power line, rather call 911.