September 22, 2020

Cleanup continues as Utah governor, cities declare states of emergency

Gov. Gary Herbert, left, Centerville Mayor Clark Wilkinson and Public Safety Commissioner Jess Anderson survey the damage caused by hurricane-force winds in Centerville on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The massive windstorm that took out thousands of trees from Cache County to Utah County on Tuesday left nearly 200,000 customers without power.

Gov. Gary Herbert, left, Centerville Mayor Clark Wilkinson and Public Safety Commissioner Jess Anderson survey the damage caused by hurricane-force winds in Centerville on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The massive windstorm that took out thousands of trees from Cache County to Utah County on Tuesday left nearly 200,000 customers without power. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Crews, volunteers clean up storm’s aftermath

CENTERVILLE — A day after hurricane-level winds swept across the Wasatch Front, Gov. Gary Herbert announced a state of emergency for Utah while in hard-hit Centerville Wednesday.

The declaration is intended to help secure federal funds for communities across the state to recover and clean up.

The windstorm reached over 100 mph in certain areas and caused significant property damage as well as one unspecified “weather-related fatality,” according to Intermountain Healthcare. A day later, volunteers hauled branches across schoolyards, parks and front lawns as crews worked to clear debris from roads.

The governor’s declaration came while he was touring through wind-battered areas, surveying damage and cleanup efforts. He expressed wonder on social media at how Utah communities are coming together and pushing through the crisis, saying he was “amazed” by what he observed.

His announcement came after Centerville Mayor Clark Wilkinson declared a state of emergency for his city Tuesday and as Salt Lake County issued its own declaration. Wilkinson echoed the governor’s sentiments in an interview Wednesday, saying how moved he was by the way his residents have responded.

“I’m really proud of our community,” Wilkinson said. “I did an interview yesterday, and I teared up when I went to say, ‘You’re going to be amazed if you come here tomorrow and you see how people pitch in and help.’ And it was hard to get the words out, because that’s just what they do.”

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In Centerville, announcing I am declaring a State of Emergency following yesterday’s wind event. I’m amazed at the efforts of Utahns working together to clean up the damage. pic.twitter.com/AWmf4AVgl5

— Gov. Gary Herbert (@GovHerbert) September 9, 2020

Salt Lake City and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were coordinating volunteer work crews Wednesday, encouraging Utahns to join the effort once a hotline is up and running later in the day.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said it’s too early to pinpoint the cost of damage from the storm that felled more than an estimated 1,000 trees, “but we know that this is a generational storm and the impacts and the face of Salt Lake City is going to be different for the rest of our lifetimes.”

Mendenhall urged those who live in the city to be patient as crews prioritize clearing trees that have toppled on streets, homes and cars. The workers include city employees from Rocky Mountain Power and help from nearby communities like South Jordan, West Jordan, Bluffdale and Herriman.

Mendenhall spoke to reporters in Liberty Park Wednesday near a fallen tree with dislodged roots jutting two stories tall. She is asking homeowners to hold off on …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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