WEATHER

Neighborhoods, cemeteries feel impact of hurricane force winds on old-growth trees

Sep 8, 2020, 5:05 PM | Updated: 5:06 pm
old growth trees utah wind, Many SLC parks remain closed for continued cleanup from windstorm...
High winds toppled trees that had stood for decades at the Ft. Douglas Post Cemetery, damaging headstones, fences and ground. Photo credit: Marc Giauque

SALT LAKE CITY — George Watanabe said he was rattled when he arrived at the Fort Douglas Post Cemetery Tuesday morning, near the University of Utah and saw the fate of old-growth trees.  “To see these trees that are over 100 years old, people that have been buried over 150 years ago, and to see the devastation here was just shocking,” he said. 

Strong wind-gusts Monday night and Tuesday morning brought down numerous large trees. Where they landed, some grave markers were smashed as were fences and monuments.  Where they were uprooted, the ground near the actual graves was exposed. 

Cemeteries are sacred

Watanabe served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Today he is the contractor, charged with caring for the grounds at the cemetery.

“Many of us who are citizens of this country, who have been to a veteran’s cemetery, whether in Europe, or the Pacific, or here in the United States, veteran’s cemeteries are sacred places,” Watanabe said. 

The winds continued to howl as Watanabe and his team began to assess the damage to old-growth trees.  

Huddling in the basement

A few blocks to the southwest, people who live around the Nibley Park Golf Course were equally surprised, and a bit unsettled by the power of the winds.  Trees and branches filled the fairways at the course.  Next door, Bob Waters and his family huddled in the sub-basement of their home during the worst of the storm. “The wind gusts were rather extreme. They were punching into the side of the house,” said Walters.  He said they listened as the wind eventually began peeling shingles from the roof. And they watched as they flew through the back yard. 

Trees take the brunt

Not far away, at Fitts Park in South Salt Lake, barriers were put up at park entrances, old and new trees were uprooted, one landing on a fence near the playground. 

Fitts Park in South Salt Lake was closed Tuesday morning, as crews assessed the damage from high winds. Just to the west of the park, a large spruce tree fell, nearly swallowing an entire car.  

 

A sub-compact car was smashed after winds brought down a spruce tree onto the street in South Salt Lake.

There were similar scenes throughout the area. Many streets were closed Tuesday morning, as police guarded areas where downed power lines lay on the ground.  

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Weather

snowy trees pictured, the utah snowpack is currently doing well...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Utah snowpack at a 10-year-high

The current snowpack in Utah is doing great and is at 167% of the median for the state.
22 hours ago
A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
5 days ago
PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA, USA - FEBRUARY 2: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Tuesday  morning 6 more wee...
Scottie Andrew, CNN

The bizarre history of Groundhog Day

So how did Groundhog Day go from a kooky local tradition to an annual celebration even those of us who don't worry about winter can find the fun in?
6 days ago
More Americans are struggling to pay their energy bills.  Nearly 1.5 million more U.S. households ...
Curt Gresseth

Cost of heating homes in Utah rising as thermometer sinks

The cost of heating a home in Utah is rising because demand has increased and the drought in the West has cut into production.
7 days ago
As temperatures in the state plummet far below zero, advocates with Unsheltered Utah built an unsan...
Devin Oldroyd

Unsheltered Utah opens warming tent for unhoused people to escape frigid temperatures

As temperatures in the state plummet far below zero, advocates with Unsheltered Utah built an unsanctioned makeshift warming tent Monday.
8 days ago
snow shovel driveway dialysis...
Mark Jones

Cold weather causes late start for Logan City School District Wednesday

The Logan City School District and the Cache County School District will be on two-hour late starts on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Neighborhoods, cemeteries feel impact of hurricane force winds on old-growth trees