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Wild windstorms knock out power along the Wasatch Front

Wednesday outages left nearly 7,000 homes in the dark

Dirk Bahlmann looks at the damage that was caused when a large part of his willow tree fell on his Salt Lake home.
Dirk Bahlmann looks at the damage that was caused when a large part of his willow tree fell on his Salt Lake home.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

About 7,000 homes lost power when windstorms knocked into power lines Wednesday night, starting several fires and plowing trees into lines.

Outages occurred throughout Salt Lake Valley, into Davis County and parts of Mapleton and San Pete County. Nearly 1,500 homes remained powerless as of 11 p.m.

"This is fairly routine for a bigger thunderstorm," said Rocky Mountain Power spokesman David Eskelsen. "The wind caused some problems, pushing lines together. We've reset circuit breakers and replaced fuses and taken trees off power lines throughout the night."

At some locations, trees knocked into power and cable lines or were pushed over to start fires, including a Midvale home where the power line sparked a grass fire, leading to the garage on fire and at least $10,000 in damages.

"They were able to put out the fire," said Warren James, Battalion chief for Midvale City fire department. "An engine and two ladder trucks stayed around in case the line caught anything else on fire. The power company gets very backlogged during a windstorm."

Rocky Mountain Power was still bringing power back to homes late at night. Eskelsen said they couldn't yet estimate cost of damage.

—Lana Groves