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Damage from windstorm could total more than $20 million

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue and Jed Boal | Posted - Dec. 2, 2011 at 6:18 p.m.


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FARMINGTON — Wind-caused damage from Thursday's storm should easily top $20 million to homes, businesses and public infrastructure in Davis County alone — even as debris removal costs mount over the weeks to come.

"There are a lot of folks out there trying to put the pieces together," said Davis County Commission Chairwoman Louenda Downs.

"Humpty Dumpty had a great fall," she said. "But all the kings' horses and all the kings' men are out there working to put us back together."

Damage to private properties is for the insurance company to handle, and Bountiful resident Josh Dimick told KSL News his provider responded with a caring attitude and will probably cover all of his damage.

"It leveled my fence here, took my kids play set three neighbors down, and ripped some shingles off the roof," Dimick said.


Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But all the kings' horses and all the kings' men are out there working to put us back together.

–Louenda Downs, Davis County Commission


But the private property is only part of the cost of damage. Preliminary damage estimates to city and county-owed buildings and other property in Davis County is easily at $3.5 million leading to Thursday's disaster declaration by county officials.

That declaration will kick in a review by the state and precipitate a visit by Federal Emergency Management teams to review damage claims. Federal funding could be tapped to help cities and the county recoup costs for replacement of hundreds of street signs, traffic signals and light poles lost to the hurricane-force winds. It would also cover costs to replace tiles and roofs of government-owned buildings damaged in the storm.

Centerville declared a disaster Thursday and on Friday, Farmington officials were following suit.

"We have a massive amount of damage," said Farmington City Manager Dave Millheim, who spent much of Friday on a tour of wind-ripped sites.

He said the wind came with such force it turned flying debris into dangerous projectiles.

"At Farmington City Hall, the concrete tiles on the roof acted like missiles," he said. "We had 15 to 20 embedded tiles that went through shingles, wood, membranes. You could not throw one hard enough to make it do that."

The storm also inflicted damage to people caught in its midst or the aftermath. Three Weber State University students in Ogden were injured Thursday by the blowing wind itself as it slammed them into the ground or into doors and a Bryant Middle School student was critically injured by falling limb on his way to school in Salt Lake City.

On Friday, a That Bountiful couple was rescued by a passer-by after they suffered accidental carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a generator being used to heat their home. They were receiving treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

Government damage estimates
  • Centerville: $8 million
  • Farmington: $6 million
  • Davis County: $3.5 million
  • Bountiful: $4 million

Millheim said Farmington's mayor, Scott Harbretson, was trying to clear away a fallen tree on Thursday when the ladder gave way. He broke several bones in his face when he slammed into tree debris.

Throughout cities along the Wasatch Front most impacted by the storm, the costs are continuing to be tallied. Centerville estimates $8 million in damage, with residential losses bearing the brunt at $6 million.

In Farmington, the city's new flagship development, Station Park, racked up as much as a half million dollars in damage. Millheim said the expensive light poles put in are all bent at a symmetrical angle that at first glance looks like it was intended that way.

Elsewhere, Lagoon Amusment Park had multiple trees uprooted at its campground, its periphery and inside, as well as damaged trailers. A spokesman said the rides — even the tall ones — escaped unscathed. Millheim put damage at as much as $6 million and Bountiful is at $4 million and counting.

With in excess of 50,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers who went black Thursday due to the high winds, multiple businesses closed up shop early — from restaurants to banks and state-owned facilities such as liquor stores and the Farmington Division of Motor Vehicle offices.

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

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Amy Joi O'Donoghue
    Jed Boal

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