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Wind, flooding wreck havoc on city
The heavy rain that fell on the city combined with clogged storm drains left several residential streets like this one, flooded. - photo by SABRA STAFFORD / The Journal
The first big storm of the season swept through the Central Valley Tuesday, with pouring rain and gusting winds that toppled trees and utility lines all over the city.
The storm dumped more than half an inch of rain by 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and over an inch in most areas by nightfall, according to the National Weather Service.
As heavy as the rain was, the wind was the real villain of the day. Average recorded speeds were around 32 mph in the area, with gusts reaching up to 55 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service is predicting the storm will last through tonight with continued showers and winds, though not as heavy as Tuesday’s downpour.
Both utility and city crews were kept busy into the wee hours of Tuesday night, dealing with downed power and cable lines, fallen trees in roadways, and flooded streets.
“It’s been a very busy day,” said City of Turlock maintenance supervisor Ray Garcia. “There are a lot of fallen trees.”
City crews had taken more that 75 calls for downed trees by 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Garcia said.
Turlock Irrigation District workers were kept similarly busy with tree limbs hanging from power lines and multiple power outages. The power outages were scattered all across the city, including one at Emanuel Medical Center. The outage in the east wing did not affect the hospital and a backup generator was used for the duration of the outage, which lasted about half an hour, according to hospital officials.
While the Turlock Police Department reported only a few minor accidents, the local division of the California Highway Patrol was kept busy on Highway 99 and other roadways with collisions and traffic hazards.
Wind and small stream flood advisories were both issued for the area by the National Weather Service on Tuesday.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.