Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

October 26, 2021
Fall storm brings high winds, rain

A storm that blew in Sunday evening included high winds, which caused power outages, uprooted trees, damaged homes, and caused car accidents.

The National Weather Service issued a storm warning on Sunday afternoon for Tooele County that said that the county would experience high winds from Sunday at 10 p.m. until Monday at 9 p.m.

“Tooele County was at the center of the high winds area,” said Bucky Whitehouse, Tooele County Emergency Management director. “This event was of a big concern, because the Weather Service estimated that the winds could be over 70 miles per hour, which causes a lot of damage. Another concerning thing was that the high winds were going to be with us for so long.”

After the Tooele County Emergency Management Department received the warning, they began alerting fire, police, public works personnel, and community members to prepare for the storm.

Many home owners began securing their trampolines, patio equipment, garbage cans, and other items outside to prepare for the storm.

If those items weren’t secure by about 10 p.m. Sunday, they blew away. Crews responded to well over 60 calls in the county of wind-related damage beginning Sunday evening, according to Whitehouse.

“The calls ranged from downed power lines, debris in the roadway, and semi-trucks that rolled over on the interstate,” Whitehouse said.  

The Tooele City Police Department received over 10 calls for service.

“We had three calls of downed power and cable lines, two calls of trees falling onto residents’ homes, a call of a trampoline blowing into a neighbor’s yard, a call where a tin roof from a shed was blown off and went into another resident’s yard, and several calls of traffic cones being blown into the roadway where they weren’t meant to be,” said Detective Colbey Bentley with the Tooele City Police Department.

Both the Tooele City and Grantsville City public works crews were also busy Monday clearing trees out of the roadway, according to Whitehouse.

Power outages were reported from Sunday evening through Monday evening.

The Vine Street and Utah Avenue traffic lights were out for a while Monday afternoon.

“Most of the outages in the Tooele Valley area today were due to wind, which caused electrical faults when lines were blown together, causing protective fuses to cut power,” said David Eskelsen, community spokesman with Rocky Mountain Power. “In some cases, the wind caused lines to go down or caused other physical damage to overhead facilities. Repair crews began responding Sunday night shortly after 8 p.m., and work continued throughout Monday. As of 5 p.m. Monday, there were only 36 customers without service in the southeast part of Tooele City.”

The power also went out in Grantsville on Monday evening from 9 p.m. to about 9:45 p.m.

“Power outages were experienced county-wide,” Whitehouse said. “We did have power outages all the way from the Rush Valley area to Grantsville.”

By 10 a.m. on Monday, high winds had blown over several semis between mileposts 78 to 81, eastbound and westbound, according to a press release by the Department of Public Safety.

Minor injuries were reported as a result of those crashes and lane restrictions were in place due to the semi’s blocking the road.

Authorities closed I-80 to high-profile vehicles between mile marker 99 westbound and mile marker 1 eastbound until the winds slowed down.

No hazmat issues were reported on the freeway.

In Tooele City, around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, a Fed-Ex truck driving on 600 West and state Route112 was tipped over when a strong gust of wind came along, according to Bentley.

“There was only one driver and he was uninjured as a result of the crash,” Bentley said. “The Fed-Ex truck was empty, so there wasn’t any property damage or anything like that.”

Traffic in the area was temporarily blocked because of the semi.

During the storm, the highest wind gust recorded was 72 miles an hour at the weather station on SR-112.

After the wind slowed down Monday evening, it began to rain.

Monday morning Whitehouse said that the county was expected to see an inch and a half of rain, which was likely to cause flooding until around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Flooding wasn’t an issue with the rain storm and Tooele County received .96 inches of rain. 

Since the beginning of October, the county has had nearly 4 inches of rain, which is well above the average of nearly 2 inches of rain. 

“The water year is off to a good start,” said Ned Bevan, Tooele City weather observer for the National Weather Service.

 

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