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Power outage forces Salt Lake County Government Center to close

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Posted at 8:04 PM, Jul 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-06 22:04:23-04

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah - Hundreds of residents in South Salt Lake were without power Monday morning. Rocky Mountain Power says they believe a car hit a power pole in the early morning hours, severing a cable.

The Salt Lake County Government Center had to close its doors Monday and at least 1,200 residents and businesses were without power.

"About 8:40, we were just working at the daycare and, all the sudden, lights out," said Colleen Roberston, a worker in the daycare at the Salt Lake County Government Center.

Employees at the Salt Lake County Government Center were sent home early that morning after the power went out.

“It tends to happen a little more in the winter," said David Eskelsen, spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power. "But generally, power facilities, particularly poles and wires, do tend to follow streets, in some cases, and every once in a while, somebody will hit one.”

People who needed to go to court or do business at the government center say their plans were foiled for the day.

“I came out here to attend a court date with my son. I took off work to come down here. So now I gotta take him home and then go back to work and come back tomorrow,” said Salt Lake resident Raymond Wickens.

Emergency officials at the government center said they used generators to keep their main offices open, but said a big concern was their equipment overheating without air conditioning.

“Those systems, if they get too hot, we have to strategically power them down so that we don’t lose any of the function of the communication system or the servers," said Jeff Graviet, emergency services director for Salt Lake County. "So, we had to make a judgment decision of when the right time was to take those down so that we didn’t ruin anything.”

Rocky Mountain Power officials say most of their customers’ power was restored in the late afternoon.

“We just try to get the power on as quickly as possible," Eskelsen said. "And ask people to please drive carefully."

The Salt Lake County Government Center will open its doors as usual Tuesday morning.