Local case counts continue to spike

The number of known COVID-19 cases in Newman and Gustine continued to spike in the past week.

Earlier this week, Newman had eclipsed 100 cases and Gustine was approaching that mark.

The upward trend in local case counts has continued through recent weeks, after each local community saw only a small number of cases through the early stages of the pandemic.

The city of Newman had 120 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, a 41 percent increase from 85 known cases Monday of the previous week.

The Gustine community case count reached 98 on Tuesday, a jump of 53 percent over the 64 known cases on record on Monday of the previous week. That count includes all who listed a Gustine address, whether rural or in the city proper.

Officials are continuing to stress the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, regular hand-washing and avoiding gatherings outside of household groups in the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease which the virus causes.

The case counts reflect a total number since the start of the pandemic, and do not represent currently active cases.

Newman Fire

Personnel from the Newman Fire Department and West Stanislaus Fire Protection District’s Newman station responded to 17 calls for service from July 17-23.

Police Chief Keith Bowen said calls for service included nine medical aid responses, six public assists, one trash fire and one structure fire.

Three-vehicle collision

A three-vehicle collision Monday afternoon, July 20, at Highway 33 and Canal School Road left two drivers with complaint of pain, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said the accident occurred shortly before 5 p.m. when Kathaleen Bloyed, 18, of Turlock, who was driving a 2004 Mazda Tribute northbound on Canal School, came to a stop but then pulled onto Highway 33 and into the path of a 2000 Infinity G20 driven southbound by Royal Ortiz, 25, of Gustine and the vehicles collided. Authorities said the impact pushed the Infinity into the path of a 2003 Honda Accord driven northbound on Highway 33 by Marco Borjaperez, 34, of Newman.

The CHP said Ortiz and Borjaperez were each treated at the scene for complaint of pain. Neither was transported by ambulance.

FEMA updating Stanislaus County flood maps

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is updating Stanislaus County flood maps in 2020. New maps identify the current flood hazards and provide data to guide building officials, contractors, and homeowners make effective mitigation decisions, according to a FEMA news release.

Before the new Stanislaus County Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) become effective, there is a 90-day appeal period from July 30 to October 28. During that time, residents with technical and scientific information, such as detailed hydraulic or hydrologic data, can appeal the flood risk information on the preliminary maps.

Flood hazards are dynamic and change frequently for many reasons, including weather patterns, erosion, and community development. According to the news release FEMA, Stanislaus County and the cities of Ceres, Modesto, Newman and Patterson worked together to collect new or updated flood hazard data to modernize the flood maps and reflect these changes, which may also affect building or insurance requirements.

The local mapping project is part of a nationwide effort led by FEMA to increase local knowledge of flood risks and support actions to address and reduce the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. FEMA encourages residents to review the preliminary flood maps to learn about local flood risks, potential future flood insurance requirements, and identify any concerns or questions about the information provided.

The preliminary FIRMs may be viewed at http://www.fema.gov/preliminaryfloodhazarddata

 For further details, visit http://www.stancounty.com/planning/bp/floodplain-management.shtm or contact Stanislaus County at 498-7898, 525-4130 or 565-6557. 

West Side weather

Newman resident Marge Carvalho, an observer for the National Weather Service, reported the following high/low temperatures for the past week. Readings for the previous 24-hour period are recorded at 5 p.m. daily.

Monday, July 20: 102/63

Tuesday, July 21: 96/62

Wednesday, July 22: 98/58

Thursday, July 23: 98/60

Friday, July 24: 101/64

Saturday, July 25: 100/62

Sunday, July 26: 102/65