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Winter storm knocks out power, ices roads


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Nature is reminding Utahns that winter is not over with storms today and more on the way.

But today's weather wasn't as much of a factor on the roads as it was inside thousands of homes, as widespread power outages plagued several residents across the Wasatch Front.

The latest from Rocky Mountain Power is that 385 customers are still without power in the Layton area, and 388 customers are still without power in the Provo-Orem area. All the outages are from weather-related issues.

This morning, the major problems occurred in Ogden and Layton, where roughly 5,000 went without power. Gerald Taylor, a resident of Marriott-Slaterville, watched as power crews worked to get his home up and running.

"No furnace, but it hasn't been off long enough to really get cold yet," Taylor said.

Snow piled high on power lines, and several down circuits contributed to the outages.

The weather also kept snow plows busy as drivers navigated slushy roads. There were a few minor accidents -- most were slide-offs, most without injury. "A lot of just too fast for conditions; people just don't slow down when the roads are real wet and slipper," said Seth Dereta, of the Davis County Sheriff's Office.

The good news is the Utah Department of Transportation reports the state is right on track with this year's snow removal budget. "We're definitely in good shape. We have the money. We have the resources," said UDOT spokesman Adan Carrillo.

Last year around this time, the state spent more than $23 million to keep the roads clear. So far this year, it has spent less than $12 million.

UDOT says any money left over will go to projects in the summer. "Maintenance, potholes, signs, paint on our roads; so that money always gets used up," Carrillo said.

Back to those power outages: some of them are were caused by damaged lines or poles in different locations. That means crews can only restore small pockets at a time.

Rocky Mountain Power hopes to have everyone's power restored by tomorrow morning. If for some reason your power is not restored by morning, they ask that you give them a call at 888-221-7070.

E-mail: wjohnson@ksl.com
E-mail: ngonzales@ksl.com
E-mail: bbruce@ksl.com

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