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Power outage doesn't affect Modesto airport service

A power outage caused by a car accident knocked out primary power to a small part of the Modesto Airport late Monday night, but service wasn’t affected.

Apparently, the driver of a car heading eastbound on Finch Road near Mitchell Road at 10:12 p.m. veered into a power pole, knocking out a transformer and sending wires into the roadway.

Power was restored to some businesses about 40 minutes later, but others were feeling the effects of the blown transformer into the early morning hours. The roadway wasn’t cleared until this morning.

The Stanislaus County Animal Shelter was without power until morning.

At the airport, primary power to the airport’s glideslope antenna, which helps aircraft come into the airport in bad weather, was out. Power is expected to be restored this afternoon and until it’s back, the equipment will run on battery power.

The approach lights for the primary runway also are out, and there is no backup for them.

However, in good weather, they're not needed.

“There’s no impact because we have good, clear weather,” said airport manager Jerome Thiele about the loss of power. “Only a very small portion of the airport, about one-sixth of our property, was affected.”

Thiele said there are about 10 to 15 landing during nighttime hours, and from 10 p.m.-4 a.m., "things are pretty quiet."

The Modesto Police Department was still working on the accident report, and had no information on the cause or whether the driver was injured.

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