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Spring storms cause tree damage; sunny skies on their way
tree down pic1
A City of Turlock Municipal Services crew works on clearing a fallen tree out of the roadway on Marshall Street near Bell on Thursday afternoon. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER / The Journal

A spring storm ripped through the Central Valley this week, downing trees and causing temporary flooding in city streets.

The week of extreme weather began on Sunday with half an inch of rain and winds blowing at 25 mph, with gusts up to 105 mph, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). City of Turlock Municipal Services Supervisor Ray Garcia said city crews responded to 22 tree and branch calls on Monday after last weekend’s storm.  “There was also a lot of tree damage in parks,” Garcia said. “Fifteen trees in Summerfaire Park, near the fairgrounds, were damaged and may eventually have to be removed.” Rain continued throughout the week, and on Thursday another storm hit with rain sheeting down causing visibility problems and winds reaching 44 mph. The Turlock area received 2.38 inches of rain for the month by Thursday, which is .51 inches above normal for the same time period. On Thursday, city crews were called out to remove a large tree on Marshall Street near Bell which had fallen into the roadway. City workers labored in the wind and rain to clear the street of branches before nearby Turlock High ended classes for the day.

The Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services (OES) is closely monitoring San Joaquin River and Tuolumne River levels. As of Friday, there were no indications that there is a danger of reaching flood stage on either river. The OES reported that local creeks and streams are experiencing usual flows for this time of year and do not pose a threat. Levees are also being monitored. OES is working with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, the cities of Newman and Patterson and fire districts to ensure that local residents would be advised if flooding were imminent and evacuations were recommended. Currently, the areas of greatest concern to OES are the Fisherman’s Bend and Catfish Camp areas. Updated storm information is available at under the Stormy Weather link.

Residents of Turlock worried about flooding can pick up 10 sandbags free of charge from the wastewater treatment plant, located at 901 S. Walnut Rd. 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 at 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.

Friday’s light wind and afternoon sunny skies were a welcome break from the heavy rain and high winds on Thursday, but it was just the calm before more storms. According to the NWS, another storm is set to hit the Central Valley today and then again late Sunday. But sunny skies will soon be here again — on Monday. The NWS forecast for Monday is partly sunny skies and a high of 65 degrees. By Friday galoshes can be safely stored away, as the forecast is for sunny skies and highs near 71 degrees.

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