Utah power crews expecting storm to impact grid; outages possible

Feb 21, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:22 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Rocky Mountain Power told families Tuesday to make sure they are prepared should they lose power during this next winter storm.

“We do feel like it will be a pretty big storm,” said Jona Whitesides, spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Power. “We are expecting some impact and outages based upon the weather forecast.”

Whitesides said usually the biggest issues are tree branches breaking and falling into the power lines.

“The snow on the branches will push those onto the lines and will cause the outages and sparks,” he said.

Whitesides said a conference call was made Monday to all the operation managers to access crews and resources, but even then, families should be prepared just in case power does go out.

“Do I have my kit? Do I have a plan? What are those things that maybe in a family discussion we say, ‘OK, we are going to have a pretty big storm. What do we do in a family emergency?’” Whitesides said.

At a home in South Jordan Tuesday afternoon, KSL TV found crews with Utah Tree Co. cutting down a diseased tree near power lines that could have been a problem with heavy snowfall.

“Definitely a good time to take care of this tree here where it has the cavities. We can see clear indication of breaking,” said Matthew Tisbert with Utah Tree Co. “It kind of becomes priority number one.”

“It’s terrible,” said homeowner Kari Brown, who is heartbroken that the massive tree had to come down. It was planted in her front yard 61 years ago by her parents. But she knows it could be a problem with a lot of snow.

“I think it is a hazard because I don’t want it to fall on anything or hit the power lines,” she said to KSL TV.

Rocky Mountain Power officials said if you do come across a power line, do not go near it but call 911. They also said to make sure you call and report outages even if you think your neighbors have called. That way it helps narrow down the location and it could mean getting help faster.

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Utah power crews expecting storm to impact grid; outages possible