LOGAN, UT — The hum of chainsaws can be heard across the City of Logan Tuesday after snow pummeled the area. The storm knocked out power to thousands of houses across the area. While the power has been restored to most homes, city officials say the clean-up will take weeks.
“My husband woke me up at about 5:30 a.m. and said, ‘You should come see this. It’s crazy out here,’” Mayor Holly Daines tells ABC4. Mayor Daines says woke up to more than a foot of snow at her home and like thousands of people in Logan, she didn’t have power.
“The circuit breakers had tripped and locked open,” explains Logan Light and Power Executive Director Mark Montgomery. he continues, “And we’ve spent most of the early morning hours restoring those major circuits.”
Montgomery says the Logan Power crew began responding to calls last night around 10:00 p.m. and by 2:00 a.m., roughly 10,000 customers were without power.
“This is kind of an unusual occurrence,” states Mayor Daines. “Often, we’ll have one incident that maybe knocks out a transformer or something, so we can get a number of homes back online quickly.”
According to Montgomery, power crews restored the power to most homes by noon Tuesday. However, he says a few hundred homes remain without power. He explains this is because many homes had their direct power lines taken out by falling tree branches. For residents who are still without power, the city asks them to call: 435-716-9090.
Those fallen branches create their own problems. At Willow Park, large branches — some bigger than surrounding trees — cover the area. Mayor Daines says this is the case at parks across the city. Many trees at these parks have what is often referred to as “widow makers.” These are branches that have broken but not fallen. These are dangerous and may fall at anytime. For that reason, the city is closing all parks to the public until park officials can clean up the debris and scout the trees for any possible dangers.
The trees didn’t just topple at city parks. Every street seems to be littlered with large branches. Many homeowners have already started the cleaning process in their yards, but while powerlines remain down across the city, officials are asking residents to be careful while cleaning.
“We know everybody wants to get out and help, and help their neighbors, and start cutting up trees and limbs and stuff, but just be really aware of powerlines first and foremost, and traffic going up and down the street,” Montgomery says. “Be careful.”
“You’ll have to take care of your property,” explains the mayor. “If it’s on a city sidewalk, right-of-way, or park strip, then you can call us and let us know. And we’re trying to triage those calls according to how serious they are.”
Bountiful Power is assisting Logan Power to restore electricity to customers across the city. After all power is restored, the city will focus its efforts on the cleanup process. The mayor says this will take weeks to complete.
City officials tell ABC4 this is the first storm in nearly 20 years to cause such widespread power outages and damage in Logan. They say the trees still had their leaves and the additional weight of the snow was too much for them to support.