158K Without Power After 2,500 Outages Reported Across Utah

Sep 8, 2020, 2:21 PM | Updated: 8:18 pm
Location: East Millcreek Photo: JaNeanne Dazley...
Location: East Millcreek Photo: JaNeanne Dazley

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Rocky Mountain Power crews are working on more than 2,500 outages across northern Utah because of a blast of hurricane-strength winds that uprooted trees, blew over trucks and forced schools to cancel classes.

The utility tweeted that high winds had knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, as of 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Spencer Hall from Rock Mountain Power said some of the outages could last as long as 72 hours. He is asking affected customers to be patient due to the extent of the damage.

“We have about 2,500 individual outages right now needing repairs, new poles, new wires sometimes digging and things like that,” he said. Crews will be working around the clock.

In addition, Hall issued a serious warning about power lines hidden under debris and out in the open. “It’s so important you stay away from these down power lines. Even if they look like they’re not a problem, they’re not sparking, when things get energized in other places they can become energized. So, it’s important you keep people away.”

Hall said, “You don’t always have to make contact with the line to get to get zapped. So, we want everyone to exercise extreme caution now with another wind event coming through tonight.”

Officials are asking residents to check-in with neighbors to make sure that people who need power for medical equipment are doing well. If there are people need power or just a warm place to stay as temperatures expect to drop overnight, Salt Lake County is setting up warming centers in four locations.

Box Elder County and the Red Cross have set up another shelter at the Willard meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Hall said this is an all hands-on deck event for the company.

“Everybody who’s available is out working,” he said. “Usually, during an event like this, we can bring crews in crews from other parts of our service territory. But, unfortunately, they’re all out doing the work.”

The company is working on outages across several states.

“Boy what a weather event this has been,” Hall said. “Not only just here in Utah, but we serve power in six states and it slammed communities all across those six states. So, we have everything from eight inches of snow in Wyoming to wildfires to hurricane-level winds.”

Snow also fell in higher-elevations areas of Utah, including benches along the Wasatch Front.

Surely Mother Nature knows there are still two weeks of summer, yet we have SNOW starting to fall along Wasatch Boulevard in Sandy near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. What?!?📷: Tanya Vea

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

KSL Meteorologist Grant Hall said more wind will arrive Tuesday night.

“One thing to note is that sometimes if they have to get up in a bucket truck, they can’t do that until the winds subside,” Hall said.

You can track outages on the Rocky Mountain Power app or they can also text “OUT” to 759677 and you can get updates on the outage specific to your area.

Hall said the company will also post updates on social media.

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158K Without Power After 2,500 Outages Reported Across Utah