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Windy days are chasing the fog away — and blowing down trees — in Lodi

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Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 12:12 pm | Updated: 7:47 am, Thu Dec 1, 2011.

Heavy fog that has recently blanketed the Lodi area has mostly lifted, but in its place residents can expect some blustery days ahead.

Winds are blowing in from the north and northwest, mixing up the local atmosphere and blowing the fog out of the region, said Carl Erickson, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, a private forecasting service.

"I don't think we need to worry about fog for the next few days," Erickson said.

Winds picked up in strength throughout the afternoon, peaking at sunset at about 15 to 30 miles per hour.

Two neighborhoods lost power Wednesday afternoon when strong winds knocked branches off of trees and onto power lines.

"The first couple of rains, the first couple of winds of the season tend to dislodge branches after they've grown all summer, or knock loose dead branches," said Bob Anderson, a utility dispatcher for the city of Lodi Electric Utility. Anderson said winds were blowing at 41.6 mph at the same time the trees hit the lines.

The outages affected about 340 Lodi homes near Edgewood Drive and the intersection of Central Avenue and Flora Street. Power was restored in both locations within an hour.

Ken Job, of Acampo Tree Service, received six calls Wednesday just for trees that had fallen or were threatening to fall on houses or utility lines. One call was for the removal of a tree that fell on a brand-new Chevy truck. He expects even more today after a long windy night.

"I feel sorry for people. Not everyone can afford to get their trees trimmed," he said. "It's devastating for some people."

That strong wind brought low overnight temperatures with it.

Residents were advised to grab a cozy blanket and expect a chill in the low 30s, Erickson added.

But such strong gusts will dissipate by the end of today, Erickson said.

As soon as the wind dies down enough to allow it, city officials advise residents to round up the leaves that have scattered all over Lodi.

"It's not the city's job to chase leaves across town," said city spokesman Jeff Hood.

The annual leaf pick-up program is ongoing. Any piles on the street will be picked up according to the city's leaf pick-up schedule. Hood asks that residents do their best to keep the piles out of the gutters and away from storm drains.

If your neighborhood won't be seeing the leaf crew anytime soon, feel free to deposit the pesky leaves in residential lawn-and-garden waste cans.

On the plus side, all this wind means residents are likely to get the go ahead to enjoy their fireplaces through the weekend.

"It looks like there will be no prohibition on woodburning because we've got the wind to clean it up," said Anthony Presto, spokesman for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. "We're looking at mostly clean air throughout the district."

Today, Lodi residents can expect breezes from 10 to 20 mph. Thursday will be the warmest day this week; temperatures could reach about 65 degrees. The forecast for Friday and through the weekend looks like clear skies and sunshine, with temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s. This range is average for early December.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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