News LIVE: Power outages reported as wind and dust sweeps through St. George

A power pole is downed after high winds swept through St. George, Utah, March 30, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

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Updated 7:35 p.m.

ST. GEORGE — As high winds blow through Southern Utah, several reports of isolated power outages have been reported in and around the St. George area.

A power pole is downed after high winds swept through St. George, Utah, March 30, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Among the most prominent of those outages is taking place in the area of 1300 E. 900 South near River Road where four power poles fell on a residence and into a church parking lot.

Several hundred customers are without power in that area and the city estimates power restoration will take approximately two hours or longer as city crews replace the downed power lines, Marc Mortensen, St. George assistant to the city manager, said.

“We’ve got things blowing up in the power lines and the power lines themselves blowing, as well as trees touching power lines causing outages … the strong winds are the primary reason for that,” he said.

“We’re going to have to put in a new pole and re-energize that,” Mortensen said, “but it’s going to take a while, it’s a pretty big line.”

The National Weather Service estimated wind gusts of up to 50 mph in a previously issued wind watch.

As of 6:23 p.m.

Emergency and city crews respond to the area of 900 South and River Road to restore power after four poles fell in high wind, St. George, Utah, March 30, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

UDOT’s traffic Twitter account is reporting signal problems due to a power outage on Interstate 15 at the St. George Boulevard exit ramps and surrounding areas. It advises treating powerless traffic signals as four way stops.

As city crews work with St. George Fire to repair the downed power lines, authorities advise the public to stay out of the area.

“We have kind of a hazardous situation … so we’d like people to stay away the 900 South River Road area,” St. George Fire Battalion Chief Darren Imlay said.

Nobody was hurt in the outage, and the power lines deactivated properly as they were designed to do.

“The power is out right now, so it’s safer to stay in place than to be walking around the lines,” Imlay said of residents in the area.

As of 7:35 p.m.

In an updated estimate, power is now expected to be restored in the area 900 South and River Road in five to six hours, energy services director Laurie Mangum said.

St. George News Senior Reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this report.

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1 Comment

  • jaltair March 30, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    It might be good to consider putting wires underground as many cities are doing now.

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