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Calif. officials OK new area code for North Valley callers

Those who get a new phone number in parts of the Northern San Joaquin Valley will get a new area code, the reason being that an existing area code is projected to run out of available numbers by the end of the year.

The California Public Utilities Commission approved a second area code, called an overlay, for the 209 area on Thursday. The new overlay will be 350.

Existing 209 customers will keep their area code and specific phone number, according to the commission.

“An area code overlay adds a second area code to the geographic region served by the existing area code. Therefore, multiple area codes co-exist within the same geographic region,” the commission said in a news release.

The 209 area code serves the cities of Angels Camp, Atwater, Ceres, Dos Palos, Galt, Gustine, Hughson, Ione, Lathrop, Livingston, Lodi, Los Banos, Manteca, Merced, Modesto, Newman, Oakdale, Patterson, Plymouth, Ripon, Riverbank, Sonora, Stockton, Tracy, Turlock and Waterford. The 209 area code also covers Yosemite National Park and Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

“The 209 area code was created when it split off from the 415 area code in 1958. It was split again in 1997 to form the 559 area code,” the commission said.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.