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Wind, weather knocks out power, closes roads

Published November 21, 2013 9:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A windy evening turned into a chaotic night Thursday with power outages, road closures and even an auto-pedestrian accident along the Wasatch Front.

The most extensive power outage happened in Ogden, where 3,687 customers were without electricity about 8 p.m., according to Rocky Mountain Power spokeswoman Margaret Oler. The outage — which was actually several separate outages spread across four different ZIP codes — was caused by the wind.

Further north in Ogden, a 32-year-old woman suffered serious head trauma when a Jeep Wrangler hit her in the intersection of Wall Avenue and Binford Street. A 27-year-old man who was with the woman also suffered foot and ankle injuries. Both people were taken to the hospital for treatment.

According to police, wind had knocked out power to the traffic signals at the intersection and blown debris onto the street — though the intersection has also been the site of past accidents.

Another wind-caused outage took out power for 460 households in Centerville, Oler said.

A YouTube video posted Thursday night by user MrGreenLounge showed some of the chaos in Centerville; just before 50 seconds into the video, a series of bright flashes and explosions hit the power lines on the right.

Rocky Mountain Power had crews on standby Thursday evening in anticipation of the severe weather and Oler said they deployed as soon as the outages began. The crews planned to work through the night to get electricity restored in Centerville and Ogden.

In Salt Lake City, fallen power lines fell onto Interstate 80 at about 2300 East. Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Todd Royce said the incident closed the freeway in both directions from just after 7 p.m. until just before 7:30 p.m. Royce did not immediately know what caused the power lines to fall.

Interstate 15 also was closed to high-profile vehicles Thursday night between Layton and Bountiful.

The National Weather Service reported winds of up to 80 mph Thursday afternoon and expects gusts to continue through Saturday. However, the storm is not expected to become as severe as the one in 2011 that toppled trees and semi-trailers in Davis County.

jdalrymple@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jimmycdii