Windstorm, power outages delay school yet again, force park closures in SLC

Sep 10, 2020, 2:58 PM

SLC mask mayor asks for support for dunn...

FILE: Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall spoke to reporters outside Emerson Elementary School on Sept. 10, 2020. Photo: KSL NewsRadio

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City School District announced another delay for the beginning of the school year as power outages from this week’s windstorm persisted across the city. 

Friday would have been the first day of the school year for Salt Lake City, after the starting date was delayed multiple times by the windstorm and power outages. Now, the first day will be Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. 

Salt Lake City School District faces yet another delay 

Interim Superintendent Larry Madden said too many families are still without power across Salt Lake City for the schools to function properly on Friday.

“The impacts of the storm were more severe than we anticipated,” said Madden. “Thousands of people remain without power.”

The first day would have looked different regardless of the storm; Salt Lake City opted to start its school year with remote learning because of COVID-19. Based on the information from Rocky Mountain Power and remote instruction, the district is postponing school until people can get back online.  

“Even if every family had electricity now, we know many families are dealing with the loss of internet connection or destruction of property,” said Madden. “We hope this additional time will help prepare our students, teachers, and staff for school on Monday.” 

Power outages could stretch into Friday

“This was really a historic storm,” said Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) spokesman Spencer Hall. “The destruction was so widespread.”

Hall explained hurricane-level winds stretched from California to Oregon, passing through Wyoming and Idaho. 

At the peak of the storm, roughly 180,000 Utah power customers customers were without power. As of Thursday, only 60,000 homes and businesses remain without power. 

“We are hoping to get everyone’s power back on by today [Thursday],” said Hall. However, he notes some people may not have power until Friday. 

In order to quicken restoration efforts, RMP sister companies from around the country have traveled to Utah to help. The company has had to clear debris, fix power lines, and transmissions, before restoring the power for residents.

“It’s been about fixing the backbone,” said Hall, saying transmission lines had to be addressed before the utility could go into individual neighborhoods. 

“The East Bench got hit the hardest,” Hall said, but added Salt Lake’s west side experienced severe home damage and debris. “Some of Salt Lake’s most vulnerable were hit hardest by the storm.”  

Hall explained “there is no decision on socio-economic status,” when it comes to restoration efforts. 

Hall said wherever the most people without power are is where crews focus first. Crews also prioritize hospitals and emergency facilities. 

Conditions force SLC park closures

Mayor Erin Mendenhall signed a proclamation closing several parks around the city due to hazardous conditions and debris. 

Liberty, Fairmont, Sunnyside, Jordan, Lindsey Gardens, Richmond, Riverside, and Washington Square Parks, as well as the Salt Lake City Cemetery, will be closed until further notice. 

“The downed trees in the parks are not safe to be around,” explained Mendenhall. “It’s the loosened trees. They can fall at any time.” 

Mendenhall advised parents to keep children away from fallen trees because of inherent danger.

“We want to keep everyone safe and also give our crews the space to clean up our parks,” said Mendenhall.   

We want to hear from you.

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

All News

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018....

MEAD GRUVER Associated Press

A Colorado man is dead after a pet Gila monster bite

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death if the creature's venom was the cause.

30 minutes ago

Visitors stand at the closed gates leading to the Eiffel Tower, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 in Paris....

OLEG CETINIC Associated Press

Eiffel Tower operator warns the landmark is closed as strike turns visitors away for a second day

A strike at the Eiffel Tower over poor financial management turned away visitors on Tuesday for the second consecutive day.

9 hours ago

House fire in St. George. Initial investigations suggest it was accidental....

Derrick Jones

Family displaced after a fire in their St. George home

Emergency fire crews responded to a St. George fire after a passerby saw smoke from the garage of a home. 

10 hours ago

the front of a homeless shelter, budget plan utah...

Eric Cabrera

Salt Lake business leaders show support for governor’s budget plan to help homeless people in Utah

Leaders who approve of the budget plan said they had seen a huge difference in downtown Salt Lake over the past six months.

11 hours ago

UTA Frontrunner commuter rail. UTA Plans to address delays by updating cars and adding a new line t...

Curt Gresseth

UTA boss talks about train delays, says improvements coming

Despite frustrating delays, UTA has a 90 percent "on-time" record, says the executive officer.

12 hours ago

nikki haley shown, she will be in utah next week...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko,

Nikki Haley to visit Utah next week ahead of Super Tuesday presidential caucus votes

Nikki Haley plans to hold a rally at the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts on Utah Valley University's campus in Orem on the morning of Feb. 28.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Windstorm, power outages delay school yet again, force park closures in SLC