Strong winds wreak havoc in northern Utah – Deseret News

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FARMINGTON — Hurricane-force winds caused widespread damage and power outages throughout northern Utah and forced the closure of schools in the Davis and Ogden districts on Tuesday.

Wind speeds from the powerful storm blowing in from the north reached up to 97 mph at Logan Peak, according to the National Weather Service, while most of Davis, Box Elder, Weber and Cache counties reported sustained 70 mph to 80 mph winds.

Another 97 mph gust was recorded in Farmington and a 91 mph gust in Salt Lake City, the weather service reported. By 9:20 a.m. a gust of 99 mph was recorded at U.S. 89 and Park Lane in Davis County.

By 8:15 a.m., winds were gusting up to 55 mph on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

By 10 a.m., Rocky Mountain Power announced that crews were attempting to restore service to 120,000 customers statewide.

“We are currently unable to provide estimated restoration times due to the continuing high winds,” the power company tweeted.

By 8:20 a.m. the Salt Lake City School District announced it was canceling its first day of online classes due to power outages.

All schools in the Davis and Ogden school districts were closed Tuesday due to the windstorm. Weber State University initially canceled all classes until noon, then cancelled classes for the day about 10:30 a.m.

At 8:35 a.m. the University of Utah announced it was also canceling all classes Tuesday due to the wind and power outages.

A semi is towed after rolling on I-15 after high winds toppled it in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.
A semi is towed after rolling on I-15 after high winds toppled it in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted pictures of big trees blown over on the state Capitol grounds.

“Just received a reported gust of 112 mph at the UofU!” Cox tweeted.

Later, Cox tweeted that eight “historic trees” had been blown over as of 9 a.m.

Gov. Gary Herbert followed with his own tweet shortly after announcing the Capitol grounds would be closed.

“Due to high winds and dangerous conditions around the building, we are closing the Capitol building to state employees today. Stay home and safe,” he tweeted.

Numerous trees were blown over across northern Utah, some falling onto homes, businesses and vehicles. As of 8:30 a.m. there were no reports of serious injuries.

Davis County initially announced many of its offices would be closed until noon. By 10 a.m. the county announced that all Davis County offices would remain closed for the remainder of the day. Centerville City Hall announced it would not open on Tuesday. Bountiful said there would be no garbage collection Tuesday.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted about 8 a.m. that there would be no garbage pickup on Tuesday.

“Please pull your cans from the roadside if it’s safe to do so,” she tweeted.

Downed power lines forced Utah Transit Authority to set up a bus bridge between its Woods Cross and North Temple stations for FrontRunner. The company said customers should expect major delays systemwide.

By 8:30 a.m. UTA was forced to shut down TRAX altogether due to a lack of power, downed power lines and debris on the tracks throughout the system.

“Buses throughout the UTA system having to improvise or be rerouted due to power lines in streets,” UTA spokesman Carl Arky said.

The public was encouraged to check the UTA website and RideUTA app for the latest on closures and service interruptions.

The Utah Highway Patrol is restricting travel for semitrailers in Box Elder, Weber and Davis counties “after a number have blown over,” the UHP tweeted Tuesday morning. “We also have several trees and low power lines partially blocking highways and interstates in the area.”

As of 7:30 a.m., troopers were working to clear five semis that had blown over in Box Elder, Weber and Davis counties, according to the UHP. UHP Lt. Nick Street tweeted a short time later that the number of semis blown over was up to 10.

Downed trees, branches, power lines and other debris forced the closure of U.S. 89 between Park Lane and South Weber Drive about 6 a.m.

At 8 a.m. South Davis Metro Fire Department announced that U.S. 89 in North Salt Lake was closed in both directions between Center Street and Eagleridge due to a business fire.

The UHP later tweeted at 8:10 a.m., “There are numerous closures on I-15 from Salt Lake County north to the Idaho border. Plan for delays. Avoid the area if possible. If you’re stuck in traffic, do not exit your vehicle due to flying debris. And avoid parking alongside high profile vehicles.”

Hogle Zoo also closed for the day at 10 a.m. due to a power outage and the wind.

The National Weather Service said residents should expect winds to continue near peak levels through 10 a.m to 11 a.m. and then “start to decrease to widespread gusts between 40-50 mph. Wind will ramp up again this evening.”

This story will be updated throughout the day.

Trees lay across 900 West and 800 North in Salt Lake City after being toppled by high winds on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.
Trees lay across 900 West and 800 North in Salt Lake City after being toppled by high winds on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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