Black-outs: wet, heavy snow strains power lines

Local News

Power lines throughout Utah bore the brunt of Monday’s storm. The unusually wet, heavy snow weighed down lines, knocking out power to tens of thousands. Emergency crews spent all day Monday, and into the night, repairing ruptured lines and transformers, and restoring power, as quickly as they could.

The Millcreek district on Salt Lake’s east bench was one of the hardest hit areas. Rocky Mountain Power’s power outage map showed nearly 1,900 black-outs.

“We actually had one of our guys out here, snow shoveling,” said Joseph Recksiek, owner of Mount Olympus Clock shop “and we heard a loud bang and a line came down, and almost hit him.”

Reickseik’s shop was directly beneath a line that snapped and fell. A Rocky Mountain Power executive tells this outage at this intersection was a case of an overloaded line.

“A neutral wire broke, and came down onto other wires,” said David Esklelsen. “That produces an electrical fault. The circuit back at the sub-station notes that as a problem, and opens to stop the flow of electricity, to protect our equipment and customer equipment.”

An entire neighborhood lost power. The black-out also closed stores restaurants, and an urgent care center. Police cordoned off 3900 South with cones and cruisers, and crews went to work. The scene was repeated hundreds of times Monday.

“The largest number of outages I saw today was 15,000,” said Eskelsen. We have employees on call. Crews will rotate in and out, to keep the restoration going, until everybody is restored.” 

By 9:00 P.M. Monday, power had been restored to more than 13,000 customers, with about 2,000 remaining.

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