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Salt Lake City Fire Department

High wind and thunderstorms cause damage across the Wasatch Front

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Jun. 6, 2020 at 8:05 p.m. | Posted - Jun. 5, 2020 at 9:58 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — It's been a wild windy weekend across the Wasatch Front and stormy across the state. High winds overturned semitrucks, damaged structures, knocked out power and helped spread fires — while storms in some cases helped slow the blazes.

The suspended ceiling of a parking structure collapsed near 2200 S. 700 East in Salt Lake City on Saturday on Saturday from high winds. The city's fire department said 10 cars were under the structure when it collapsed, but there were no injuries. Fire officials said it was "absolutely weather-related."

The National National Weather Service issued a "significant weather advisory" Saturday afternoon for portions of the Wasatch Front, Wasatch Back and the northern Wasatch Mountains before 40-55 mph winds blew through.

Winds up to 40 mph helped spread the new Promontory Fire near Promontory Point but precipitation also helped fully contain the Old Pinery Fire south of Nephi and bring the Elberta Fire near Goshen in Utah County to 50% containment.

The state also saw golf ball-sized hail in Blanding and a huge hailstorm in Palisade State Park.

Moab police warned of "wacky and potentially dangerous weather through the evening: a lightning alert, severe storm risk, flash flood watch, wind advisory and a fire weather watch, but "mercifully, no pollen alert."

Flash flooding is possible in southern Utah on Saturday as wet weather moves into the Beehive State over the weekend.

There is potential for flash flooding in southern and central Utah through the day, according to the NWS.

As of Saturday morning, flood watches were in effect for the Western Uinta Basin, Lake Powell, the Western Uinta Mountains, the Wasatch Plateau, the Central and Southwest Mountains, Castle County and the San Rafael Swell.

Flood watches are also in effect for southeastern Utah, including Arches National Park and Grand Flat, the La Sal and Abajo Mountains, the Tavaputs Plateau, Canyonlands National Park and Natural Bridges National Monument.

The weather service offers three steps for flash flood safety:

  1. Get to higher ground
  2. Don’t drive into water
  3. Stay informed

People are advised not to drive or walk into flooded areas, as only 6 inches of water can potentially knock you off your feet, according to the weather service.

When going into areas where there is potential for flash flooding, people should monitor radar, TV, weather radio, internet or social media for updates.

Several power outages were reported across the Wasatch Front after Saturday's stormy weather. Rocky Mountain Power tweeted, "we are aware of scattered outage impacting over 4,600 customers in Utah," just after 8 p.m.

The Salt Lake area on Friday experienced a severe thunderstorm warning and high winds, the National Weather Service reported. Winds gusted up to 60 mph and high winds continued through Saturday morning.

Winds blew over several trucks on Friday, the Utah Department of Public Safety reported.

An empty semitruck blew over and blocked southbound lanes on I-15 near the Mona Interchange in Juab County earlier in the evening. The driver suffered minor injures and was transported to a hospital. Lanes reopened by Friday evening, officials reported.

About 6:40 p.m., another semitruck blew over on westbound I-80 in Tooele County and a pickup truck pulling a trailer also blew over about 50 miles away also on westbound I-80. No injuries were reported in either incident.

After Friday's temperature topped out near 100 degrees in Salt Lake City, Saturday will be slightly cooler with highs around 82 degrees and rain, according to KSL Weather Meteorologist Grant Weyman. Sunday is expected to be wet and even cooler, and rare June snow may be seen in some areas early Monday, which will still be cool and wet in the valleys, according to Weyman.

The full KSL Weather forecast is available at ksl.com/weather.

Contributing: Graham Dudley and Jen Riess, KSL.com

Photos

Jacob Klopfenstein

KSL Weather Forecast