Due to high winds on Monday afternoon, high-profile vehicles were prohibited in eastbound and westbound lanes on Interstate 80, from milepost 1 in Wendover to milepost 99 at Lake Point, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service issued a High Wind Warning, in effect until 10 p.m., for the Great Salt Lake Desert, including the Tooele Valley and the Salt Flats.
The southerly winds were predicted to be 25 to 35 mph, with local gusts up to 65 mph. Dust stirred up from the wind affected visibility throughout the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys Monday afternoon.
Rocky Mountain Power’s website indicated that more than 8,000 people along the Wasatch Front were without power Monday afternoon, and, according to spokeswoman Tiffany Erickson, most of those outages were caused by the wind.
Crews responded to downed power lines and poles throughout the Salt Lake Valley on Monday, Erickson said. She didn’t have an estimate of the damage Monday evening, but she said the wind had downed more than 30 power lines. The wind also knocked “quite a few trees” onto power lines. At least two power poles caught fire, she added, and at least two more were blown over.
Erickson advised members of the public to tie down items that could blow away, especially anything that could take out power lines, such as trampolines or tarps.
The winds also forced LDS Church officials to cancel an open house and tours at the Jordan River Temple because they were affecting the area where tents had been set up outside.
Later Monday, “zero visibility from windy conditions” prompted the Utah County Sheriff’s Office to close Eagle Mountain Boulevard from Wride Highway to Pony Express Parkway.
Later Monday, accompanied by strong winds, a cold front was expected to sweep across the state.
The cold front will bring rain and snow overnight to the Wasatch Front, with up to an inch of snow expected on grassy surfaces in the valley, 1-3 inches on the benches and 4-8 inches in the mountains, the National Weather Service predicted.
This story will be updated.