Strong winds bring down nearly 60 power poles in West Jordan
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
WEST JORDAN — High winds took down nearly 60 power poles Monday afternoon, closing roads, cutting power to 3,000 customers and leaving Rocky Mountain Power with days of cleanup.
The National Weather Service measured wind gusts reaching 45 mph that tore across state Route 111, or Bacchus Highway, about 1:45 p.m. A total of 37 large transmission poles were toppled over or snapped in half, as were a series of smaller distribution poles.
The West Jordan Fire Department estimated nearly 60 poles were down.
"We're still in the process of assessing the damage," said Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Jeff Hymas. "It's going to take days."
Power was restored to the more than 3,000 customers in West Jordan by 2:30 p.m. It was unclear whether they will face further power interruptions as repairs are made, Hymas said.
Two stoplights at the intersection of Bacchus Highway and New Bingham Highway, state Route 48, also came down in the wind, possibly tangled in the toppling power lines, said West Jordan Fire Battalion Chief Reed Scharman.
"The (traffic lights) on the north and the west collapsed, it looks like because of the wires pulling them down," Scharman said.
The Utah Department of Transportation estimated the intersection could remain closed through the day Tuesday, according to spokesman John Gleason.
Bacchus Highway was closed between 8200 South and 10200 South as downed poles littered nearly three miles of the roadway, Scharman said.
Travel along the New Bingham Highway between 6400 West and Copperton was also closed. Drivers needing to reach Copperton were told to detour on the Old Bingham Highway.
Crews worked into the night, hoping to clear the downed poles along the roads by Tuesday morning, said Maria O'Mara, Rocky Mountain Power spokeswoman.
Rocky Mountain Power advised anyone who encounters downed lines to treat them as live, Hymas said, adding that it's difficult to discern whether a wire is carrying electricity just by looking at it.
More information about power outage safety is available on the Rocky Mountain Power website at www.rockymountainpower.net.
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