Cleanup efforts underway as strong winds impact Central California

The Central Valley's clear skies quickly filled with a dusty haze late Monday morning.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
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Strong winds pushing through Central California are leaving some destruction in their paths.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A northwest Fresno family came home to find their mailbox no longer standing after a wind event sent trees and branches flying all across the neighborhood.

In the tower District, a tree toppled over a fence and into the backyard of a family's home, crushing their children's playground set.

The homeowner tells us the loss was crushing to the kids but could have been much worse. The tree narrowly missed hitting the house.

Fresno Public Works director Scott Mozier says rain last week made matters worse when the wind began blowing.

"We had a good amount of rain on Friday that saturated some of the soil, softened the ground and with this wind event coming in results in a number of trees falling," he said.

City crews spent the day responding to damage and clean-up calls across Fresno, but much of the work will continue Tuesday.

"Citizens may expect to see some of the limbs pushed to the side out of the road into the gutter as a triage to address house emergencies first, and then we will be coming back in the days to come to clean up debris," Mozier said.

In central Fresno, lights were out for much of the evening for 2,500 customers along Blackstone Ave. due to weather impacts.

In Madera County, a wind-driven-grass fire prompted evacuations for homes near Avenue 17 and the 99 as crews up against wind gusts struggled to gain control.

In Merced, the Public Works department is also asking people for patience after receiving over 180 calls for fallen trees.

Between 18th and 23rd streets, at least 20 fallen trees scattered along streets.

"Right now, we are trying to get to the worse ones first and then we will get to all the minor ones if not today, then tomorrow," says Merced Public Works Director Ken Elwyn.

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