TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — Strong winds in Utah on Tuesday are posing a threat for high-profile vehicles like semi-trucks, campers and trailers. Utah Highway Patrol has warned drivers traveling on Interstate 80 in Tooele County where gusts could reach 70 miles per hour.
Just after 8:30 a.m., part of westbound I-80 was closed at mile marker 79 after a semi-truck rolled over just west of the SR-138 junction.
“Yeah, He was unloaded and UDOT was recording wind gusts at the time this crash happened, it was 53 miles an hour," said Sergeant Clint Fawson with Utah Highway Patrol. "And obviously he’s empty, heading west bound, a big wind got a hold and blew him over and that blocked everything, westbound I-80 is completely shut down right now.”
One lane of the highway has since been reopened, but intermittent closures and delays are still possible.
Snowbird Ski Resort was forced to shut down its aerial tram because of the winds, although some ski lifts remain open.
Officials have closed SR-143 above Brian Head from mile markers 17 to 28 due to the winds and drifting snow. The road is expected to reopen Wednesday morning.
The winds arrived ahead of a cold front and winter storm, which is expected to drop snow on the mountains and valleys of Utah starting late Tuesday.
Other Utah counties under a High Wind Warning west of I-15 are Box Elder, Juab, Millard, Beaver and Iron. Gusts in those areas were expected to reach up to 65 mph at times.