Hurricane force winds wreak havoc in Davis County, cleanup could take days
In Layton, high winds created widespread damage. The fencing at Burch's Trees on Main Street was toppled. The Christmas tree lot is a holiday tradition in the city. The wind knocked the canopy into a trailer in the lot.
Layton fire prevention specialist Doug Bitton braved the wind in the middle of Fairfield Road, directing traffic around a power line that was threatening to come down.
"We got a lot of hands on deck today," Bitton said, adding that emergency responders were overwhelmed by downed power lines and blown transformers.
Farther east, wind-caused damage to a home on Gordon Avenue was attracting a crowd. Two 50-year-old Japanese pine trees succumbed to the wind and toppled onto the house. Their extensive root systems peeled up a section of the driveway and caused damage to the sidewalk.
The homeowners, Shan and Sandra Stott, were in good spirits despite being unable to get out of their front door. Their shiny black Infiniti also was covered by a pine tree.
"I wish the wind would have taken out the walnut tree," Sandra Stott said, adding that she had been asking her husband to remove it for years.
Shan Scott said they were unaware of the mayhem in their front yard until somebody pounded on their door at 7 a.m.
"One tree was already gone," he said. "And I watched the other one come down."
Stott said he built the home 50 years ago and planted both trees when they were tiny saplings. As he spoke, the wind whipped at a rose covered trellis, and he grimly predicted it would be the next to go.
"I'll have to replace that too," he said with a sigh. "You start talking about these things, and everything costs money."
In Bountiful, city officials said it could take two days to clear roadways of debris. They also announced that the Bountiful Landfill would be open free of charge for residents to dispose of debris.
In Fruit Heights, the steeple on the Westminster Presbyterian Church was blown off the roof.
The Davis County Sheriff's Office was also hit significantly with power problems and worked most of Thursday using a backup generator. Half of the 800 MHz antennas officers use to communicate with dispatch and each other were knocked out, creating "big radio problems," according to the sheriff's office.
All cases at the Farmington Courthouse were canceled for the day Thursday. Hill Air Force Base grounded all of its jets because of high winds.
At Weber State University, high winds injured three students on campus, university spokesman John Kowalewski said.
Two of the students were blown over in a parking lot on the east side of the campus and sustained minor injuries.
Another student was hit by a blowing door near the Kimball Visual Art Center. That student may have been taken to local hospital as a precaution, Kowalewski said.
Flying debris caused a fair amount of property damage to the campus, he said. Daytime classes were canceled at both the Ogden and Davis County campuses. WSU's Davis campus also will be closed Friday.
Salt Lake County
High winds caused widespread damage of both public and private property across Salt Lake City.
Municipal crews, deployed citywide at 6 a.m. Thursday, worked throughout the day to address storm-related public safety issues and clear roads, sidewalks and other public right-of-ways. All major right-of-ways were expected to be cleared by Thursday evening.
"While some sidewalks may remain blocked until tomorrow, our crews have done an outstanding job in clearing streets," said Rick Graham, the city's public services director. "City traffic should currently be moving without hindrance from storm-related debris.”
Graham said the full impact of the storm damage was still being assessed, but some 30 trees were downed at the City Cemetery, seven at Sunnyside Park and a large tree had fallen at Gilgal Gardens, but no statuary at the park was damaged.
Contributing: Marjorie Cortez, Jared Page and Molly Farmer
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