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High winds bring back memories of 2016 tornado in Weber County

Posted at 8:54 PM, Sep 08, 2020

WASHINGTON TERRACE, Utah — High winds on Tuesday have brought back plenty of bad memories for people who live in Washington Terrace.

Neighbors tell FOX 13 that some of the trees that fell this week were once able to withstand a tornado that touched down in their city in 2016.

Eight-year-old Xander Johnson is too young to remember the tornado, but he will remember the windstorm of 2020.

“I wasn’t scared. I slept through it,” Xander said. “2020 is the worst!”

Xander’s mother, Wendi Johnson, described the wind in some areas as more dangerous than the winds caused by the 2016 tornado.

“I’ve not been through winds like that before,” Johnson said. “Wind galore. Crazy. A little anxiety… so far luckily the tree came down and missed the house!”

Makayla Presher, a 16-year-old who lives down the street, was a little bit less lucky. She was on her way to cheer practice, but she couldn’t made it out of the driveway before a tree crashed down onto her car.

“When I walked out of the house, it kind of blew me aside,” Makayla said, not thinking she was in any danger. “The wind came in very fast, and so I tried to dart to the other side of the driveway. Then, all of a sudden, there was just a tree over me. I was like, ‘What the heck?!’ -- I stared at it for a few seconds. Oh my gosh.”

“She called me and said, ‘Dad I’m stuck!’” her father David Presher said. “My neighbor and I got the branches loose and got her out.”

Thankfully, Makayla was not injured.

Members of the neighborhood spent hours cleaning branches out of the road as best they could.

Eventually, firefighters responded to flames on Tuesday evening at Victory Park because of a tree that was resting on power lines.

Crews said they were not able to fight the fire until the power had been turned off.

The winds appeared to cause less damage in Ogden and other parts of northern Weber County.

Residents there still dealt with downed power lines, shattered streetlights, and plenty of busy intersections that had turned into four-way stops.