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High winds down power lines, trees during storm
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Three trees were uprooted at Donnelly Park due to high winds on Tuesday (KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal).

Power crews and public safety workers in Turlock were kept busy during this week’s storm, with high winds and wet conditions downing trees and forcing some residents to shelter in place.

The powerful storm that swept through the region on Tuesday night forced the National Weather Service to issue a high-wind warning in effect through Wednesday morning, with 40 mph steady winds and gusts of up to 60 mph. 

Trees at several Turlock parks fell as a result of the storm, and one Turlock resident in the Facebook group Turlock Neighborhood Watch posted a photo of a trampoline near the canal on Taylor Road, which had seemingly been blown out of someone’s backyard.

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Turlock Irrigation District crews respond to a power outage at Turlock resident Ann Strahm's home after high winds ripped down her power lines (Photo contributed).

Turlock Irrigation District was not able to provide how many power outages workers responded to during the storm by the time of publication, but Communications Division Manager Constance Anderson stated that the most outages were tended to on Tuesday night, with outages trailing off in the days following. 

The TID power outage website showed that between Tuesday and Wednesday, TID responded to power failures in Turlock, Delhi and La Grange.

According to Turlock Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Michael Parmley, a downed power line in the 3800 block of Ruble Road required 71 nearby residents to shelter in place from about 10 p.m. until after midnight on Tuesday. Between the hours of 8 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Monday, the Turlock Fire Department responded to 26 emergency calls.

Trees at four different City of Turlock parks fell victim to the storm: Three at Donnelly Park, one at Crane Park, one at Four Seasons Park and a large tree branch at Summerfair Park. The City received “numerous” additional calls for downed trees and branches throughout Turlock, said Allison Van Guilder, director of Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities.

As a result of the influx of rainfall, Donnelly Park will remain closed this weekend due to flooding, she added.

“We will reassess the amount of standing water on Monday morning,” Van Guilder said. 

The storm was expected to provide much-needed precipitation during what TID has described as the driest water year on record. Hydrologist Olivia Cramer on Tuesday anticipated that the Tuolumne River Watershed could have receive as much as 10 inches of rainfall during the storm — more than the monthly average for January in just a week alone.

While the official numbers aren’t tallied yet according to TID, the Journal will provide an update on the drought following this week’s rainfall in Wednesday’s issue.