High winds down trees, worsen air quality in Stockton

Local News

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties saw some of the highest wind gusts in the region, downing trees and sending dust flying into the valley air.

Ray Harris said he was in disbelief when his neighbor alerted him to the wind damage at his house.

“Oh man, I mean this is — this is incredible,” Harris said. “My heart dropped. I rushed over here and the damn tree fell.”

When Harris got home he found the large tree that once stood in his yard had collapsed onto the roof of his home. No one was home at the time.

“Thank God, no one was injured, so I’m really happy and pleased about that,” Harris said. “But yeah, now we got to get the tree removed and cut down, and get it off the house and see what damage is done to the house.”

The high winds also caused dangerous conditions, forcing county officials to close Oak Grove Regional Park early. All across Stockton, drivers had to navigate around trees and branches in the roadways. 

The city of Stockton told FOX40 it had two crews responding to downed trees. The city’s backup contractor was also on standby to respond if needed.

In addition to causing property damage, the high winds also create health problems. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has issued a health alert that’s in effect until Tuesday night.

“When breathing in particulate matter in the form of dust, there is a great increase in the risk of respiratory infections,” explained Anthony Presto, who represents the district, “aggravating asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.”

“We’re already seeing unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter throughout the valley,” Presto said.

Between the downed trees and the dusty, hazy skies, the air district recommends avoiding windblown dust altogether, if you can.

“By remaining indoors and making sure that all the windows and doors are closed inside your home,” Presto said.

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