Facebook Twitter

WIND-SMASHED PROVO MOSTLY BACK TO NORMAL

SHARE WIND-SMASHED PROVO MOSTLY BACK TO NORMAL

After a solid week of cleaning up and repairing the damage caused by last week's hurricane-type storm, things in Provo are pretty much back to normal.

On Tuesday, Mayor George Stewart rescinded the disaster proclamation he declared May 31 following the destructive wind-storm that caused an estimated $9 million in damage and destroyed more than 3,500 trees."We feel the real emergency portion is over," Stewart said.

Following the storm most of Provo was left without power for more than a day. Provo Energy Department officials say power has now been restored to most of the city - with the exception of a few customers who suffered extensive damage. City crews were assisted by crews from Springville, Spanish Fork, Payson, Bountiful, Logan, Murray and Utah Power.

Most of the outside help is covered through reciprocal agreements Provo has with other cities. However, the overtime bill for city employees working on the cleanup and power restoration already has exceeded $150,000, Stewart said.

"That's why you have reserves," he said.

Over the next few weeks some homes may have intermittent power outages caused by broken tree limbs hanging near power lines. Energy Director Harry Schindehette said some homes suffered damage to meter boxes when knocked-down power lines pulled the boxes away from the homes. Repairing meter boxes is the responsibility of homeowners and will have to be done by private electricians.

The Provo Cemetery, which suffered the most storm damage when more than 130 towering pines were uprooted, opened for the first time following the storm Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of workers from Provo, Lindon and Springville have spent the past week removing the downed trees.

City crews are continuing to remove and pick up debris from streets, but they are finding that many residents are treating the post-storm cleanup as another spring cleanup. Items that are not storm-related are being tossed on tree piles.

"We'll go down a street and make two or three stops and our trucks are full," Stewart said. "We don't want people taking advantage of what we're doing because we have such a big problem just cleaning up the storm-related debris."

Stewart said crews will make two more passes of city streets to clean up storm-related debris, but then residents will be responsible for removing all debris. The final cleanup pass will be Monday, June 13. To accommodate the heavy volume of trees, the city compost site at 1400 South Industrial Parkway will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. until further notice.

City officials also are asking residents to help sweep streets in front of homes. However, residents are reminded not to sweep debris into irrigation ditches or storm drains.