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Residents prepare for 70 mph winds Wednesday night


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SOUTH WEBER -- While some parts of the state have already seen some rain and snow, the worst is yet to come.

City officials in South Weber are already warning residents to get ready for what could be some of the worst winds they have seen in several years. The town sits outside of an already windy Weber Canyon, which often gets the brunt of incoming storms.

Several residents say they plan to stay indoors, watching and waiting for wind speeds expected to approach 70 mph starting Thursday morning about 2 a.m. But city officials are trying to inform residents to clear their yards.

"(We're) trying to get the word out to residents here locally to batten down the hatches, heavy winds (are) coming this evening," said South Weber city manager Rodger Worthen.


(We're) trying to get the word out to residents here locally to batten down the hatches, heavy winds (are) coming this evening.

–Rodger Worthen


Worthen said there are a lot of people already used to the wind, with the nearby Weber Canyon pushing air through the city on a regular basis.

"The wind howls all the time, all night long," said South Weber resident Pam Udy.

"You even determine when you go for walks around here if it's windy or not windy," added South Weber resident Mike Garrett.

Many residents have already done what they can to prepare for the upcoming wind, but with severe wind speeds expected, residents are hoping they have done enough.

"I think we just hunker in and see what happens," Garrett said.

Residents that have lived in South Weber for several years say they get hit with a bad storm once about every ten years, which is what many are preparing for Thursday morning.

Particularly vulnerable are areas along the northern Wasatch Front from North Salt Lake to Brigham City, but the rest of the urbanized areas are not immune, including south to Spanish Fork.

The storm system that is producing the winds is likely to be accompanied by snow in northern Utah by Wednesday afternoon and evening. By Thursday, the snow will be more widespread and could linger into early Friday, particularly in southern Utah.

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The canyons in southern Utah are anticipated to have those strong eastern gusts as well.

"They're predicting winds of higher than 75 miles an hour, so, those are almost hurricane force winds," said UDOT spokeswoman Tania Mashburn.

UDOT is hoping their new app for smart phones will help people traveling during the windy conditions, keeping drivers informed of current conditions.

"If there were snow on the roads, or rain, some of these lines on the routes might be red or yellow," Mashburn said.

The home page of the app shows current traffic conditions on a Google map.

"This map will show you all the construction information and crash information," Mashburn added. "You can see what's causing that delay and click on that accident.

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Written by Mike Anderson with contributions from Jed Boal and Amy Joi O'Donoghue.

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