Mayor Jenny Wilson outlines Salt Lake County’s response to severe weather event

Gov. Gary Herbert closed the Capitol Tuesday after high winds knocked down trees and powerlines in the area. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 9, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Mayor Jenny Wilson sent a memo to other mayors in Salt Lake County, city managers, emergency managers, and the County Council, outlining the response to the severe weather Monday night into Tuesday.

The memo is as follows:

“It was a busy night as Salt Lake County Emergency and Public Works crews worked to address the results of the recent severe weather event and accompanying hurricane-force wind storms,” the memo said. “I am sending this report to update you on the status of Salt Lake County’s response to this most recent emergency. We have seen a significant amount of damage throughout SLCo due to fallen trees and flying debris, principally located along the northeastern portion of the county. We also experienced widespread power outages resulting in business and school closures. Thank you to all of our community partners who have generously stepped in to provide assistance and resources.”

Emergency Declaration

On Wednesday, Salt Lake County issued a Declaration of Emergency for yesterday’s high wind emergency event, the memo said. The decision to issue the DOE was based on multiple concerns, including the extent of damage, anticipated need for resources, and cost of recovery. A local emergency declaration provides avenues for municipalities and counties to receive financial and material resources from the state or federal government. Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake have also issued emergency declarations.

Damage Assessment

A Damage Assessment Survey has been created for Salt Lake County residents to self-report damage that occurred between Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 at their properties due to the wind storm. The data collected will further assist SLCo and cities in coordinating resources and cleanup efforts.

“The number of locations reporting damage continue to increase, and we expect a fuller picture to develop over the next few days,” the memo said. “This survey will be open to residents for a minimum of two weeks to report damage.”

Rocky Mountain Power and Restoration of Power

At present, Rocky Mountain Power is reporting that 74,485 customers are without power within Salt Lake County, the memo said. “RMP is working around the clock to restore services,” it said. “No definitive estimated time to restore has been given. In general terms, RMP is reporting timelines up to 72 hours to restore power.”

Areas within SLCo most heavily affected by power outages, as reported by RMP, include
Millcreek, the Avenues in Salt Lake City, the northeast section of Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Murray, Holladay, and northern portions of Taylorsville.

Public Works

Salt Lake County Public Works maintains over 500 miles of road and has been clearing debris to provide safe travel throughout the county. Teams will continue this effort over the coming days.

SLCo Public Works has also worked closely with the Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services
District (MSD), City of Millcreek, Holladay City, and Taylorsville City to clear debris blocking roadways and to restore traffic signals. Backup generator power has been provided to intersections in the MSD, Millcreek, Holladay, Taylorsville, South Salt Lake, and West Valley City.

Initially, there were approximately 27 non-state road intersections within those areas
without power. A total of 11 of those intersections are being powered by generators, with the rest fully restored.

Salt Lake City and UDOT also had intersections without power. The initial report from UDOT indicated they had approximately 39 intersections without power.

Salt Lake Valley Landfill

The owners of the Salt Lake Valley Landfill — SLCo and Salt Lake City — in conjunction with the Salt Lake Valley Landfill Council, have agreed to waive weather-related disposal fees at the Landfill, located at 6030 W. California Ave., for residential, non-commercial loads of weather-related green waste and broken fencing from noon Wednesday through noon September 23.

This is intended to address the needs of residential/non-commercial green waste disposal for those affected by the wind storm. Please note that fees will not be waived for grass clippings or regular “junk” removal, the memo said. Larger contractors and commercial haulers will be charged normal rates.

The landfill will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, contact the Salt Lake Valley Landfill at 385-468-6370.

“The response to this emergency has been a tremendous tribute to how well our communities work together!” Wilson’s memo said. “I sincerely appreciate the dedication of our emergency personnel, public works crews, and officials on all levels of government. Please let us know if there is anything else SLCo can do for you or your jurisdiction in connection with this latest emergency.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here