Storms Cause Power Outages, Road Closures

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday, the governor will be briefed on the damage caused by the storms that swept through the state. The severe weather toppled trees and caused more flooding from Merced to Visalia and places in between.

Road closures, power outages and flooding continued to plague the valley as a result of the series of storms. A power outage affected about 1,500 homes in Clovis and smaller outages affected several other communities. PG&E says wet ground is causing power poles to tip over.

"When the ground is saturated like that it doesn't take as heavy winds to knock over poles, knock over vegetation into power lines," said PG&E Spokesperson Jeff Smith.

In Fresno, repairs to power poles shut down Barstow, between Chestnut and Willow for several hours, making it tough on students getting back to the first day of the new semester and Fresno State. Repairs got finished Thursday night so the road won't be an issue for students on Friday.

In Tulare, parks became lakes. At Cesar Chavez Park the amphitheatre, softball field and lots of trees were under water.

In Merced a big tree fell onto the patio of a house. But the damage is just the latest in a series of problems to plague the residents; their whole neighborhood was without power and water for 24 hours.

"It's pretty hard, we're roughing it. We can't take showers, we can't flush the toilet, you can't wash anything. We did manage to brew a little coffee this morning in the garage with the generators, so we're hoping it will get turned on soon," said Marie Cox in Merced County.

The outage forced the shutdown of McSwain School.

It's been a more than 36-hour power outage for some residents of Huron. In addition to downed power lines, the main highway, Road 269, was flooded and clogged with debris, making travel into and out of the Fresno County town difficult and dangerous.

For those Huron customers, we checked with PG&E overnight and they say crews are having a hard time accessing the area where the power is out and they do not know when power will be restored.

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