‘Like a freight train’: Hurricane-force winds ravage Central Valley foothills

News
May 04 2021 05:30 pm

OAKHURST, California (KGPE) — Over 26,000 Central Valley PG&E customers without power due to extreme weather conditions.

Some of those outages happening near Tollhouse, Auberry, North Fork, Bass Lake, and Oakhurst.
Highway 41 near Oakhurst and Yosemite National Park were closed due to the fallen trees.

The hurricane-like winds uprooted trees before they were slammed down. One tree fell only a couple feet sky of landing directly on a local dentist’s office.

“You are just lying down at night hoping that you don’t hear something at night crash down on top of you,” said local resident John Bock. “I have talked to sever friends this morning and most of them described it being like a freight train.”

California Highway Patrol started getting reports of falling trees just after midnight.

Employees at the Oakhurst Lodge said they heard loud thumps before branches came crashing down on the sign and through the roof.

A PG&E spokesperson said that over 20,000 people are without power in the Yosemite Division, which covers the counties from Modesto to Madera.

An additional 2,600 people are without power in Fresno and Tulare Counties.

Agencies continue to work as fast as possible to get the debris cleared out of the way and local construction workers are offering their help.

“There is a tremendous amount of damage,” said Dynamic Roofing Owner Dean Rackley who was leaving his business cards at the businesses affected. “I am leaving my cards. They can call me and we can help them out any way we can. It is just devastation everywhere.

Officials do not know how long the clean-up process will take.

PG&E estimates that some power will be restored for Fresno, Madera, and Tulare counties around 8 p.m. on Wednesday and 5 p.m. for Mariposa County.

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