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Haley Smith, KSL

Overflowing canal, power outages follow storm

By Whitney Evans | Posted - Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:16pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — An overnight storm caused a canal to overflow in West Jordan and thousands of people to lose power through the Wasatch Front Wednesday morning.

Water flooded the streets and pooled near homes at 4000 West and 9300 South in West Jordan.

"It was like Niagara Falls coming through the fence, into the yard," said homeowner Sherie Swartz, who began bailing water out from around her house at 4:30 a.m.

Tuesday night's storm added debris to the canal, causing a 60-foot area to overflow, leading water about 4 inches deep to flow over the canal, down to several homes and into the street, according to West Jordan Battalion Chief Duane Paxton.

Crews brought in a backhoe and sandbags to control the flooding that came from the Welby Jacob Canal that runs under 4000 West and dumps into a field.

West Jordan Water Department and West Jordan Fire Department workers removed "copious amounts of debris" that was blocking the canal in three locations, Paxton said. They slowed the flooding by 5:40 and removed the debris entirely by 7.

Canal workers said they checked the canal Tuesday night, but winds from Tuesday night's storm blew additional debris into the canal.

The storm damaged power lines, trees and other structures along the Wasatch Front. Winds reached 60 mph in the valley, according to the National Weather service.

At least two trucks tipped over on I-15, close to Tremonton. One of the drivers was seriously injured, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

One driver in Murray escaped harm after a high-voltage powerline fell on his car.

"The line … landed on top of a gentleman's car. Luckily for that gentleman, he did the right thing and stayed inside his insulated vehicle," said Murray Police Sgt. Deven Higgins.

The storm also caused thousands throughout the Wasatch Front to lose power Wednesday morning. Rocky Mountain Power crews worked overnight to get power back up, but were unsure how long the outages would last.

Several power poles caught fire as a result of the wind and dust brought by the storm.

About 6,000 people combined were still without power in Taylorsville, West Valley City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Park City by 9 a.m. Wednesday, down from 11,000 earlier.

Contributing: Haley Smith, Amanda Taylor


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