Strong winds cause outages for thousands in northern Utah

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Thousands of residents in northern and central Utah faced a massive cleanup project Sunday after powerful winds left trails of broken tree limbs and other debris.

Strong gusts have been blowing through Davis and Weber counties as well as the Cache Valley since Saturday evening.

According to officials with Rocky Mountain Power, about 38,000 homes lost electricity overnight. The utility said on its website that more than 21,500 customers were still without power as of Sunday afternoon.

Winds as high as 87 mph swept areas along the Wasatch Front during the night.

The severity of the damage prompted Gov. Gary Herbert to visit the city of Centerville. Herbert arrived in the afternoon to visit with affected residents as well as law enforcement, spokesman Jon Cox said. The governor planned to highlight two locations where people could drop off yard waste such as fallen tree limbs.

Police Chief Paul Child told the Standard-Examiner of Ogden (http://bit.ly/1rKACkt ) that the damage to city-owned infrastructure in Centerville was estimated to be between $15,000 and $20,000. Among private property owners, he estimated somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000.

“We’ve got lot of trees down, and fences blown over,” Child said.

The winds also created dangerous road conditions. The weather caused a major crash in Centerville. Officials say a pickup truck hit a semi parked roadside on I-15. The driver of the pickup was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

In Ogden, several trees were uprooted and damaged yards and the city cemetery, according to the Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/1WAP618).

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