Thursday’s Winds Knocked Out Power for Thousands in Modesto

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Strong winds wreaked havoc in Modesto Thursday afternoon, forcing thousands to go without power.

The National Weather Service said strong line winds of up to 80 miles an hour caused a tree to topple down that, in turn, caused a domino effect as the pole took down 11 more poles. As a result, Modesto Irrigation Crews have been working around the clock to restore power to the Coffee Road and Floyd Avenue area.

On the ground and in the air from Floyd Avenue to David Court on Coffee Road Modesto Irrigation District crews were hard at work this Christmas Day. It’s been non-stop since 4 p.m. on Thursday when severe weather moved through the area.

"It started hailing very hard in front of our house and big clouds and then I heard, it’s hard to describe, like people say a freight train going by,” Ronnie Gordon, a Modesto resident said.

The National Weather Service said those sounds were straight line winds that reached up to 80 miles an hour.

The culprit for all the mess was a cypress tree that was knocked down on Coffee near Norwegian which was cut up into pieces Friday.

"Also a subsequent car accident and we had about a dozen poles go down,” Melissa Williams, a Spokeswoman for the Modesto Irrigation District explained.

Streets were blocked off on Thursday night and poles snapped in half littered the road. Thousands were without power including Maria Hernandez and her dog Bandit,

“Just looking at all these lines it was scary. It got scary,” Hernandez said.

Most residents despite the mess were in good spirits.

"I’m amazed. I’m amazed and thankful that nobody got hurt. I can’t believe it,” Gordon said.