Winds gusting up to 52 mph ripped branches off trees throughout the valley and damaged several homes Tuesday evening as a storm front advanced from the south.
Mitch Kelling of Kelling Insurance Agency said Wednesday claims were being filed on commercial and residential damage resulting from winds that appeared to be most fierce in the Spanish Valley area south of Moab."It was a real wild deal. It just blew in and blew out," said Murray Shoemaker, a ranger at Arches National Park.
Shoemaker said Tuesday's forecast was for mild weather with isolated thundershowers - no mention of winds.
Heavy winds continued through the night, subsiding somewhat Wednesday. The forecast called for more rain and winds up to 30 mph Thursday.
Weather meters maintained at the Dail Magee residence on a southeast bench area in Highland subdivision recorded gusts up to 52 mph between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Tuesday, said Marlene Magee.
Monitors stationed at the Theodore Midlam residence in the Walnut Lane Trailer Court downtown recorded winds in the range of 30 mph in the evening.
"I'm sure it's hit more than that, because there's some limbs down here, off the cottonwoods," said Bonnie Midlam.
Heaviest damage reported to Kelling Insurance by mid-morning Wednesday was to a double-wide mobile home near U.S. 191 about five miles south of Moab.
Owners Larry and Arlene Campbell reported heavy damage to the roof of the trailer, occupied by the Chuck and Sandy Washburn family.
"A gust came up and blew off half the roof," Mrs. Campbell said.
"It was pretty bad - 60 to 70 percent of the roof, down to the joists," Kelling said. "It took the air conditioner, vent stacks and wood stove stack. It's going to be thousands (of dollars to repair)."
Kelling said other Spanish Valley residents reported a built-on porch was ripped from the front of a trailer that also lost part of its roof and a hay barn was blown over. At the Sportsman's Lounge, a sign was torn to shreds, Kelling said.