Leaning power poles. Downed trees and branches. Tumbleweeds. Clouds of dust.
All were reported Tuesday throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley while sustained winds reached 30 mph and peaked in 50 mph gusts. The gusts didn't have the same impact as the record rainstorm on Oct. 13, but Tuesday's wind led to spotty power failures and kept city workers chasing downed tree limbs.
The Modesto Fire Department received 22 calls in a 3½-hour span from the morning into the afternoon, according to Battalion Chief Dan Hinshaw. The department called in extra staff to contend with calls from residents.
California Highway Patrol officers reported the wind kicked up dust "like a fog" on Highway 140 in Merced County.
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In Stanislaus County, power poles leaned precariously on Highway 165 near the Merced County line and on West Keyes Road just north of Crows Landing Road, the CHP Web site reported.
There also was a "huge tumbleweed" in the northbound lane of Highway 99 near Turlock.
All events at Rainbow Fields sports complex were canceled Tuesday.
Valley air district officials are cautioning those with breathing problems to take special care because the winds cause an uptick in particulate matter.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued a health cautionary statement through Tuesday evening. Exposure to particle pollution can cause health problems, aggravate lung disease, trigger asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections, officials said.
The National Weather Service expects the winds to continue blowing strongly today, but not to Tuesday's level.