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High winds cause flight delays, power outages

(Chad Chorniak/iWitness)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Strong winds are causing flight delays, power outages and other damage Tuesday as a new weather front moves in.

In addition to the closure of I-80 from mile post 0 at the Nevada border to mile post 99, a ground stop was issued at the Salt Lake City International Airport due to the wind. Fifteen flights were diverted before the stop was lifted.

UTA said commuters should expect delays of between 30 and 40 minutes on Frontrunner and 10 minutes on TRAX due to power outages and issues with gate crossings. The TRAX crossing arms at the airport and a Woods Cross location were blown off because of the wind, according to UTA. Officials are blocking off the roads and employees are currently working to repair the damage.

There is also a power outage at the Murray Central Station, so UTA announced that for the rest of Tuesday, buses will pick up customers and drop them off in the customer parking lot.

Power outages have been reported at the following locations:

  • Salt Lake Metro Area
    Customers affected: Scattered outages throughout the Salt Lake Metor area impacting approximately 7,522 down from 9,070 customers
    Estimated time of restoration: Due to the wide spread outages and ongoing weather conditions we currently do not have estimated times of restoration
  • Clearfield, Clinton, Roy and Sunset
    Customers affected: Approximately 2,280 customers are without power
    Estimated time of restoration: 10 p.m. MDT
  • Brianhead
    Customers affected: Approximately 1,896 customers are without power
    Estimated time of restoration: 10:00 p.m. MDT
  • Morgan, Mountain Green
    Customers affected: Approximately 1,896 customers are without power Estimated time of restoration: 10:00 p.m. MDT
  • Deweyville, Honeyville, Collinston and Tremonton
    Customers affected: Approximately 2,246 customers are without power Estimated time of restoration: Unknown
  • Tooele, Rush Valley, Stockton and Vernon
    Customers affected: Approximately 2,022 customers are without power Estimated time of restoration: Unknown
  • Ogden, South Ogden, Mantua, Marriott-Slaterville
    Customers affected: Approximately 1,616 customers are without power Estimated time of restoration: Unknown

Additional power outages can be reported to Rocky Mountain Power by calling 1-877-508-5088 or visiting their website.

The Weather Channel and University of Utah Weather Center tweeted about the air quality in Salt Lake City:

3:09pm MDT - Particulate matter in the air has skyrocketed into the "Hazardous" range around #SLC due to the Utah dust storm happening now. — The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) April 14, 2015

> The cold front just came through! Visibilities are down to 1/4 mile in the dust storm. [\#UofU](https://twitter.com/hashtag/UofU?src=hash) [\#utwx](https://twitter.com/hashtag/utwx?src=hash) [pic.twitter.com/pBylKTcsVb](http://t.co/pBylKTcsVb) > > — U of U Ute Weather (@UteWeather) [April 14, 2015](https://twitter.com/UteWeather/status/588082045177311232)

Temperatures are expected to continue to drop:

Expected 8-16" of snow with wind will likely create wind slabs on Wednesday. Avoid recent wind drifts in steep terrain. #utavy Tremper — UtahAvalancheCenter (@UACwasatch) April 14, 2015

> Snow levels dropping rapidly along the Wasatch Front. Snow reported on Bountiful Bench as well as the Avenues. [\#utwx](https://twitter.com/hashtag/utwx?src=hash) > > — NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) [April 14, 2015](https://twitter.com/NWSSaltLakeCity/status/588120436787044354)

> More than just wind with this storm system! Snow for N and cntrl UT tonight & tmrw. More info on amounts here. [\#utwx](https://twitter.com/hashtag/utwx?src=hash) [pic.twitter.com/ERrVcijmQ8](http://t.co/ERrVcijmQ8) > > — NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) [April 14, 2015](https://twitter.com/NWSSaltLakeCity/status/588111993254637568)

> Well, [@UDOTRegionOne](https://twitter.com/UDOTRegionOne) reporting raining mud. [@amacavinta](https://twitter.com/amacavinta) says snow on SR-30 near [@IdahoITD](https://twitter.com/IdahoITD) border. A look: [\#utwx](https://twitter.com/hashtag/utwx?src=hash) [pic.twitter.com/Lr7r5japOA](http://t.co/Lr7r5japOA) > > — Utah DOT (@UtahDOT) [April 14, 2015](https://twitter.com/UtahDOT/status/588112679149170690)

Local agencies and officials offered tips on how to stay safe during the storm:

Prepare your homes for power outages. Have blankets, flashlights, and food prepared. It is anticipated the winds will last until 10pm. — Todd Hixson (@toddhixson68) April 14, 2015

> We urge you to stay away from any downed power lines. Assume they are live! Call 911, then us at 1-877-508-5088 to report immediately. > > — Rocky Mountain Power (@RMP\_Utah) [April 14, 2015](https://twitter.com/RMP_Utah/status/588095678787805184)

> To report trees or debris in roads please call SL County Operations at 385-468-6101 [\#slco](https://twitter.com/hashtag/slco?src=hash) [\#utwind](https://twitter.com/hashtag/utwind?src=hash) > > — Mayor Ben McAdams (@MayorBenMcAdams) [April 14, 2015](https://twitter.com/MayorBenMcAdams/status/588106163499245568)

A fire in the Avenues neighborhood in Salt Lake City was fueled by the wind Tuesday afternoon and burned about 100 acres, according to Salt Lake fire. Ten homes near 700 North and I Street were evacuated, but the fire only caused minor damage to two homes before being extinguished.

Photo credit: Chelsey Allder/Deseret News

Contributing: Pat Reavy

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