Mercedians who woke to wind and rain Tuesday morning also quickly found what that wind and rain brought to town: Lots of downed trees, downed power lines and branches everywhere.
The storm, which is the remnant of a typhoon that hit Japan last week, was scheduled to pass out of the area by the middle of the day today, according to the National Weather Service in Hanford. Before the storm left, it kept city workers busy clearing trees from streets all over town.
Mike Conway, spokesman for the city of Merced, said there were trees down in the street next to Peterson Elementary School on Donna Drive, and two trees went into a house on Kathryn Court in North Merced. There was also one down on Park Avenue early in the morning, he said.
Roman Scanlon of Merced saw the tree fall into the Kathryn Court house. He lives across the street, and was outside about 11 a.m. on Tuesday with his dog when he heard a loud noise.
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"My first thought was lightning," Scanlon said. "I grabbed my dog and freaked out."
It wasn't lightning, it was a big tree that fell hard into the house. Along the way down, the tree took out another tree, Scanlon said.
Standing in the stricken house Tuesday afternoon, Scanlon said the kitchen took the most damage, with a hole right through the roof.
"I've seen the aftermath of storms before, but never the actual falling of the tree," Scanlon said.
Winds of up to 40 miles per hour were the reason for all the toppling trees. Mike Bingham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the rain and winds started early Tuesday morning, and were expected to be out of the Merced area by tonight.
Bingham said the Merced area was expected to get about two inches of rain from the wet, windy storm.Although most agricultural crops weren’t affected by the storm, some crops may have taken a hit by the rain.
David Robinson, agricultural commissioner for Merced County, said cotton, tomatoes, cantalopes and almonds were the crops most likely to not like the rain.
"If there is any late harvesting of almonds going on, those nuts may have to be spread back out to dry," Robinson said. Cotton is in the process of being defoliated, and that process would come to a screeching halt with the rain, Robinson said.
"As long as we get back to normal fall weather without a lot of continuing rain, these crops should turn out OK," Robinson said.
Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or firstname.lastname@example.org