Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

Windstorm topples trees, trucks, power poles along Wasatch Front

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Published: Tue, April 22 9:00 p.m. MDT

 Winds toppled a semitrailer on I-15 near Tremonton, Box Elder County, on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Winds toppled a semitrailer on I-15 near Tremonton, Box Elder County, on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

(Lindsey Garza)

SALT LAKE CITY — Strong winds Tuesday afternoon caused injuries and damage to power lines, trees and other structures along the Wasatch Front.

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City reported gusts as high as 88 mph at Ogden Peak and 60 mph in the Salt Lake Valley. Temperatures in some areas dropped as many as 20 degrees in 30 minutes when the storm arrived about 3 p.m.

Power lines were down in parts of Salt Lake, Utah and Cache counties, causing traffic delays and fire hazards, officials said.

Major power outages included regions of Ogden, Magna, Salt Lake City and Draper, according to Rocky Mountain Power, which was fielding more than 50 calls of outages that left thousands without power. Intersections with outed traffic signals became four-way stops, creating delays for motorists.

Two semitrailers with light loads were blown over on I-15 near the I-84 interchange in Tremonton, according to Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce. The first accident involved a triple-trailer semi, and the driver was released at the scene with minor injuries, he said.

The second vehicle tipped onto a guard rail about 500 yards behind the first crash. The driver became pinned in the cab and was extricated by emergency crews before being transported to Bear River Valley Hospital in serious condition, UHP Lt. Lynn Perry said.

A construction site at a Murray hotel near 5300 South received heavy damage, turning building materials into scattered debris and toppling an eight-story scaffolding. Witnesses say the wind also picked up large cement blocks, which caused further damage.

Dust and dirty rain were carried by the wind, limiting visibility for motorists.

The wind accompanied a cold front that is expected to continue through Wednesday.

Contributing: Amanda Taylor

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com

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