A dark Friday the 13th in the Basin
July 17, 2012
Nearly 24,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers were left in the dark Friday night, some for as long as six hours, after high winds knocked out power in parts of Summit County and the Salt Lake Valley.
According to Rocky Mountain Power Spokesperson Jeff Hymas, a transmission line in Summit County lost service due to high winds at about 6:20 p.m. on Friday.
"About 7,700 customers, primarily in Summit County and the Snyderville Basin, were affected by that transmission failure," Hymas said, adding that it only got worse. "As we were in the process of restoring power a microburst of wind came through at 9:22 p.m., causing another transmission line to go offline and about 14,500 more customers lost power."
Hymas added that customers in Oakley, Wanship, Kamas, Henefer, Francis and the Basin were affected and did not have power restored until close to midnight.
Residents had to endure blinking clocks and beeping smoke alarms, but businesses in the Basin said they experienced significant revenue losses during the six-hour power outage.
Elizabeth Rehermann, a manager at Redstone 8 Cinemas in the Basin said that not only did they have to close on a Friday night, they had to refund more than 200 movie tickets.
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"We were closed from 6 p.m. until after the last showing, so we had to make our employees stay later than normal so they could close and clean once the power was back up," she said. "We also had to go through the refund process for all the customers who were seeing a movie. It was a really big deal."
Molly Bloom’s Pub employee Hunter Ladd said the restaurant was "definitely impacted" by the power outage and they were unable to serve food all night.
"We had a 40-person party that we had to cancel because everyone was going to expect food," he said. "We lit candles all over the restaurant and did the best we could for our customers with beer cans and bottles of wine. All the lights were off so of course people weren’t going to come in."
Hymas said some customers in the Salt Lake Valley had to wait even longer, until Saturday morning, to have their power restored.
"Our crews worked as quickly as possible to restore power and fix the damage caused by the winds, which included some downed power lines and trees that fell onto power lines," he said, adding that there were no reports of downed power lines in Summit County.
Utah Highway Patrol Corporal Todd Johnson said that no major accidents or traffic problems were caused by the power outage and that drivers treated intersections like four-way stops. Summit County Sheriff deputies assisted with traffic control at major intersections along State Road 224.