Rocky Mountain Power crews working around the clock restore power after hurricane-strength winds caused massive outages

September 09, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Rocky Mountain Power crews have been working non-stop to restore service to customers after hurricane-strength winds – in excess of 110 mph in some areas – ripped through areas of Utah, Wyoming and Idaho.

Company officials said customers without service tonight should prepare to be without power through the night and into Thursday, given the level of damage and the wide area affected. Even so, repair crews will continue their efforts continuously until service to all customers is restored.

At 3 p.m. MDT, there were some 96,000 customers out of service, down from more than 180,000 customers at the height of the storm:

  • Utah: including 64,000 in the Salt Lake Valley; and 28,000 in northern Utah.
  • Idaho: 173
  • Wyoming: 2,000

Since the wind storm began in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Sept. 8, crews have been repairing damage in substations and to the power lines that connect the substations. Once those backbone repairs on the system were completed, line workers could concentrate efforts on local damage in neighborhoods Wednesday.

Rocky Mountain Power encourages all customers to follow the advice of state and county emergency management officials, and be prepared with adequate food, water, back-up batteries, power banks etc., in case of loss of essential public services for up to 72 hours.

Additional crews from Rocky Mountain Power’s service centers in southern Utah are on their way to help, as are crews from the company’s sister utilities in Iowa and Nevada, who will begin work Thursday morning. The company expects the majority of customers will be restored to service by Thursday evening.

“Based on the severity of damage, and the wide area affected, this is one of the worst damaging weather events in the company’s history,” said Curtis Mansfield, vice president, transmission and distribution operations for Rocky Mountain Power.  “We appreciate the patience of our customers as we’ve worked through the storm. And I’m grateful for the dedication of our employees at every level for the dedication, skill and attention to safety they’ve demonstrated during this challenge.”

The company reminds customers to treat all downed wires as live and dangerous. Customers should avoid both downed trees and powerlines as well as keep pets far away from those areas.

It is important for all customers to report power outages because it assists crews in pinpointing the cause and facilitates restoration efforts. Customers can call Customer Care at 877-508-5088, use the Rocky Mountain Power app, or text OUT to 759677 and receive updates during the restoration process.

Customers should also be aware of damage to customer-owned equipment that can occur during storms like these. While their electric meter is company property, the meter base, and the overhead service mast on the home belongs to the homeowner. If damaged, this must be repaired by a qualified electrician hired by the homeowner.

More information and a diagram about this are available on the company’s website: https://www.rockymountainpower.net/outages-safety/storm-emergency-preparedness.html

Regarding tree clearing from power lines, power company crews will clear trees from power lines to restore service and make conditions safe, but complete removal of the remainder of downed trees and branches is the responsibility of homeowners. Customers should also contact their municipal officials to see if there is assistance being offered on tree removal.

You can also view the Rocky Mountain Power outage map at rockymountainpower.net/outages.