Comments about ‘Hurricane force winds wreak havoc in Davis County, cleanup could take days’

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Published: Thursday, Dec. 1 2011 7:00 a.m. MST

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Clearfield, UT

It would be nice if we could bury the lines in utah. This would prevent these sort of outages due to storms.

West Valley, UT

In comparison with many other states Utah has a lot of buried lines. If we didn't have them outages would be much more severe.

I'm just glad there haven't been reports of major injuries or deaths related with all of this.

Sandy, UT

who is going to pay to bury those lines? Most power lines in Sandy are bruied I think. It does make sense anytime when heavy wind or snow pass by and less chopping off of those trees near those power lines.


I remember about this time last year when they declared the Snow Storm of the Century. I had to miss a day of work. Which could sound good but I am not on salary. I am going to call this a blunder.

Sarah B

Mosiah 7:31 "And again he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness, they shall reap with east wind, which bringeth immediate destruction."

Sandy, UT

Jash: That's what I thought when we moved to Sandy and our power lines are buried: we've had waaaaay more power outages annually here than when we lived in our Murray neighborhood with overhead power lines (just had an outage last night and the wind wasn't even blowing!) Go figure.

bountiful, ut

What the tragedy is that the geniuses that initially ran power across the country didn't use enough foresight to begin the power grids with underground lines. I can't think of any excuse good enough to have not spent the extra money to dig the trench, lay the cement tunnels for maintenance purposes and prevent every single one of the weather related power outages due to downed wires due to weather or motorists. I'm sure the costs could have been more than all the timber but think of the savings in the long run? It is nice to see that I am not alone in my bafflement over the neglectful under-sight of those workmen and engineers. It seems too logical to how every ounce of growth that has happened since those first lines plagued our landscape appeared could have been prepared for and power outages that have happened since completely, near completely avoided.


I've got power at my house but the folks up the street are out until morning they are saying. Loss of power is only a part though. Houses all around me have lost roofs, trees down and fences blown down. My mail box vanished. Gonna be tough for a while.

Clearfield, UT

72 hour kits come to mind. And I always keep my gas tank 1/2 full. If you are prepared you so shall not fear.

Bountiful, UT


Well over half the neighborhoods in Bountiful (including mine) have buried power lines (220-240 volts rms). The big problem is the higher voltage transmission lines; those with voltages over 2,000 volts that are distributed from the switching stations that cannot be economically buried (you know, those with the big transformers sitting on concrete pads with a high fence around them). Furthermore those high tension transmission lines coming from the hydro dams that you see in the Page Arizona area and along the I-15 freeway in southern California are well over 200,000 volts. You cannot feasibly bury those kinds of lines.


You need to take notice that distribution of electrical power did not commence in your lifetime. It started way back in the late 1800s. Also note the above comment for Jash. Let me know when you have your Electrical Engineering degree so that you can discuss this with me (I have my EE degree) with some degree of understanding of the problem of high voltage transmission of electrical power.

bountiful, ut

Then VST you also know what safety precautions could be taken to make the underground existence a safe venture. Plus, I would like you to explain to all of us how it couldn't have been accomplished in much the same way the sewage and water systems got developed. Outside of costs I don't really believe there is substantial enough evidence to prove that those early engineers did the very best they could.

bountiful, ut

The bottom line is that if any neighborhoods can safely and successfully have underground power lines there isn't a neighborhood in the world that can't also.... Couldn't have also started that way.... The argument is mute and it won't win! There are substantial communities across the mountain west that prove that above ground was only the cheapest but far from the best option.

Wasatch Front, UT

Temporary power outages are a bummer. But there are better reasons to bury the lines!

Overhead power lines are both visual and electromagnetic pollution sources. And Utah has WAY to many ugly power and cable lines strung across neighborhoods and streets. This isn't just an occasional power outage, it is ugly EVERY DAY!

Centerville, UT

It's always nice to have hindsight on your side. My guess is that the guys who 'planned' the electrical system never imagined the growth that would occur across the country. I'd say they did a near miraculous job with the foresight that they did have.

A wind event like the winds in Davis County are well known but relatively rare. I have personally lived through several of them and you can't imagine the force that comes with the East wind. But I don't fault the power company for not burying the lines. The fact is that people like Jake2010 are always going to know more than the people who installed the lines in the first place. You have history on your side. What would happen in a major earthquake in the Salt Lake Valley? Well, much of the ground (along with any buried power lines) would give way to liquefaction. And then our grandkids and great grandkids would post about how stupid we were to bury the power lines in a region with such an obvious fault line.

Bountiful, UT


Buried high-voltage power systems can, and have been accomplished safely Jake. But the real reason why high voltage power transmission lines (110kV or above) and medium voltage power distribution lines (2.4 to 33kV, typically) are not buried is because buried systems are significantly more cost prohibitive. The overall value-added in immunity to outages, especially for one in ten year events (high winds/major snowstorms), is very low and not worth that additional significant infrastructure cost.

In this latest event, my power restoration was probably one of the longest (about 16 hours). I have lived here in Bountiful for over 40 years and never experienced an outage longer than 24 hours. I can deal with that considering the passed-on cost of power distribution to me (and you) would significantly more than double if the lines were buried.

If you cannot deal with it, then install a manual transfer switch in your home and buy a gas driven electric generator. You will pay for it in reduced electrical costs (vice buried transmission and distribution system) in less than two years time.


Umm hello! The state of Utah doesn't end at the Davis County line. Up here in Ogden my neighborhood and the neighborhood of my boss were without power from about 10 am yesterday to 111 am today. There is a part of Ogden still without power. Thanks for your well wishes Deseret News.

Sandy, UT

As for the visual impact of aboveground utility lines, watch Curb Your Enthusiasm's episode, "The Wire" --- hilarious!

Pocatello, ID

New construction = buried; old construction = forget it.

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