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Flooding causes school cancellations, widespread power outages

Flooding Delta.jpg
Posted at 7:15 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 14:37:19-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Severe weather that swept across Utah overnight and Wednesday morning has caused numerous power outages and forced schools in Delta to be canceled.

LIVE RADAR: Check FOX 13s LIVE interactive radar to see where the rain and severe weather is in your neighborhood

Flood damage to schools and homes in the Delta area forced the Millard School District to call off classes Wednesday. Officials say a return to a normal schedule is expected Thursday.

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Wind damage in Millcreek Wednesday Aug. 18, 2021

Rocky Mountain Power reports thousands of homes in northern Utah were without power, with most of the outages were concentrated around Ogden, Salt Lake City and the Delta area.

Rocky Mountain Power crews were out at multiple locations dealing with several smaller, power outages as well.

In some cases they were downed power lines or power poles that had sparked. But not because of lightning.

Officials with Rocky Mountain Power said after long periods of extremely hot and dry weather, coupled with pollution like all the smoke we’ve had in the air, those particles gather on the power lines and boxes. Then, when you add an intense amount of water very quickly, like the rain storms we’re experiencing, it can cause those lines to overload and rupture or catch fire.

“It’s a cake almost that’s on top of all the equipment that’s on the polls and it makes it even worse," said Jasen Lee with Rocky Mountain Power. "So we’ve just had kind of a perfect storm, you might say, with all the dry weather and the fires and all that it’s made the situation a little worse.”

Lee said the good news is crews were able to respond and make most of the repairs relatively quickly.

But officials stressed that if you see a road closed sign next to some Rocky Mountain power trucks please pay attention to that because it likely means there’s a downed power line, which could be extremely hazardous and potentially deadly if you were to come in contact with it.

And last but not least, with more storms on the way, if you have not experienced a power outage yet, you still might.

And officials want to remind everyone to be prepared with flashlights, candles food and water for between 48 and 72 hours, just in case.

As of 11:22 a.m. the company reported 2,103 customers without electricity, down from a peak of around 5,000 at 6:30 a.m.

Provo Power also reported an outage affecting 100 customers near Rock Canyon Bowl caused by trees on power lines.

READ: Severe weather hits Salt Lake area Tuesday

Residents in the Millcreek area sent photos to FOX 13 showing trees down in neighborhoods.

Millcreek Tree Down

The Dugway police department on Wednesday morning reported the English village area was experiencing a power outage due to a power pole fire.
Southern Utah also experienced severe weather similar to recent downpours that caused flooding in cities like Enoch and Cedar City. The north branch of the Virgin River in Zion National Park was nearly flooeded after heavy rains. The National Weather Service on Twitter described it as a "serious situation."