Clean-up efforts underway as strong winds affect central California

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FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) – A family in northwest Fresno has returned home and found their mailbox was no longer standing after a wind blew trees and branches across the neighborhood.

In the Tower District, a tree fell over a fence and in the backyard of a family’s home, crushing their children’s play set.

The owner tells us the loss was overwhelming for the children, but could have been a lot worse. The tree narrowly missed touching the house.

Fresno Public Works Director Scott Mozier said rain last week made matters worse when the wind started to blow.

“We had a good amount of rain on Friday which saturated part of the ground, softened the ground and with this windy event which caused a number of trees to fall,” he said.

City crews have spent the day responding to damage and cleanup calls in Fresno, but much of the work will continue on Tuesday.

“Citizens can expect to see some of the limbs being pushed over the side of the road into the gutter as a yard to respond to home emergencies first, then we will be back in the coming days to clean up the debris,” Mozier said. .

In downtown Fresno, lights were off for much of the evening for 2,500 customers along Blackstone Avenue due to weather effects.

In Madera County, a wind-driven grass fire caused houses to be evacuated near Avenue 17 and 99 as teams facing the gales of wind struggled to gain control.

In Merced, the public works department is also asking people to be patient after receiving more than 180 calls for fallen trees.

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

“Right now we’re trying to tackle the worst first, then we’ll tackle all the miners, if not today, then tomorrow,” said Ken Elwyn, director of Merced Public Works.

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