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Strong winds blow into Turlock
strong winds pic
The strong winds not only knocked out power to downtown businesses and residents, but they also wreaked havoc on the large American flag that usually flies high in the northeast corner of Central Park. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER / The Journal

Turlock residents were subject to strong winds Friday, resulting in dangerous driving conditions and a power outage that left downtown in the dark for nearly two hours.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the Central Valley early Friday morning, warning of northerly winds that would become stronger as the day went on, peaking in the afternoon and diminishing overnight. Turlock saw winds up to 30 mph with wind gusts as high as 44 mph. High profile vehicles were advised to use extra caution while driving.

The winds are expected to die down, said NWS meteorologist Travis Wilson.

 “The weekend will see light and variable winds, with the strongest being five to seven miles per hour,” said Wilson.  

The strong winds caused some trouble throughout the city, downing one tree and leaving many without power.

The Turlock Irrigation District responded to a power outage in the downtown area at 1:06 p.m. According to TID Public Information Officer Calvin Curtin, strong winds caused tree branches to fall onto the power lines on Palm Street just north of Crane Avenue, resulting in a power outage that affected about 1,200 TID customers. TID crews were able to restore power to the area at about 2:30 p.m.  

Downtown businesses and restaurants were without power for an hour and a half, much to the exasperation of Main Street Footer’s owner Lisa Wilson.

“I had a big line out the door when it happened,” said Wilson. “As soon as I told them we had no ATM, they turned around and left. Loyal customers stayed, but it was sad.”

City workers also responded to a downed tree on Christoffersen Parkway. Director of Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Allison Van Guilder said that as of Friday afternoon, no injuries or other damage had been reported as a result of the windy conditions.