Wind Topples Semis, Trees and Knocks Out Power in Tooele

TOOELE COUNTY, UTAH (ABC4 UTAH) – Tooele County was hit hard by old man winter Thursday. Power outages were widespread, vehicles were blown off the roads and trees were uprooted in a local cemetery. 

Heading into Tooele County, a Utah Department of Transportation sign was  mangled and ripped out of the ground by high winds. 

Restrictions to lightweight vehicles and semi trucks were put into place from state line to state line on Interstate 80.
“It can block the roadways, create problems for all traffic on the road and restrict their ability to travel on the roadway,” said Sergeant Randy Riches of the Utah Highway Patrol. ” A light car and truck that is not loaded fully can easily be blown over by the strong winds.”

That’s exactly what happened to a pickup truck carrying a trailer just before 10 a.m. 

The trailer was blown over on I-80 near mile marker 81. Sgt. Riches responded only to see another semi truck blow over after ten minutes of being on-scene. 

 “Sometimes you just got to know when to stop,” said truck driver Diego Oliva.

Diego Oliva pulled his semi over in Stansbury for one simple reason, safety. 

“You have other people’s lives at your hands sometimes. I drive team so I always got to remember I have somebody behind in the sleeper of my truck. It’s always important when you know it’s not safe,” he added.

Wind gusts that reached 85 miles per hour blew over three massive trees in the Tooele City Cemetery.  One tree tore down power lines and blocked the entrance. 

Power was cut off to sections of the county. In one area, power was turned off because a metal light pole was resting on power lines. It also stopped truckers from entering a gas station to fill up. 
Oliva said, “It was windy and it wasn’t pleasant.”

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