Strong, gusty winds roared through the Central Valley over the weekend, bringing power outages to Turlock that left thousands without electricity.
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the Central Valley on Sunday due to a passing system known as an “Inside Slider.” The weather system isn’t like other storms; rather than a typical west-to-east pacific storm, an Inside Slider comes down from the north and drops along the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada heading south, bringing drier and colder winds.
The storm brought icy temperatures and powerful gale to the Valley, with winds hitting speeds of 24 mph on Sunday and wind gusts reaching 40 mph. High profile vehicles were advised to use extra caution while driving and the strong winds caused some trouble in town.
Approximately 2,897 Turlock residents were without power on Sunday according to the Turlock Irrigation District, which responded to 24 electrical issues in its service territory area throughout the day. A majority of the issues were weather-related, TID Communications Specialist Brandon McMillan said, such as faults and short circuits caused by power lines swinging together in the wind or by downed tree branches. One service call came as the result of a car versus pole, and Facebook users on the local Turlock Neighborhood Watch page reported traffic signals around town that were out of commission due to the loss of power.
The large outage — which affected north Turlock in the area around Taylor Road just west of Geer Road — lasted several hours and power was restored to the area by 4 p.m. Sunday. TID customers also reported outages near Wayside Drive, West Springer Drive and Berkeley Avenue, among others.
Power outages remain the most common complaint call that the Turlock Irrigation District receives in a year. Most outages are due to external forces, such as weather or downed lines due to car accidents. In 2012, TID launched an outage information website where customers can see any outages currently taking place or report electricity issues themselves. The outage website (http://tid.org/power/outages) also provides basic answers to frequently asked questions and offers tips and suggestions to help customers receive power. Customers were also able to call TID to report outages.
“Just wanted to say how pleased I was with your handling of the power outage. I called the number and was so surprised to find you were giving out estimates of how long the power would be our in different areas,” Amy Watson Harris wrote on the TID Facebook page. “…The power came back on 30 minutes earlier than your estimate. Great job!”