Windy night ushers in snow storm, power outages (with photo gallery)

Cache Valley woke up to snow on the ground Wednesday morning, but the shock of seeing white stuff just days before the start of May was of little consequence compared to the overnight storm that brought it all in.Heavy winds in the valley and gusts exceeding 60 mph ushered in the storm that is expected to linger through the weekend. Power outages in Logan, North Logan, Smithfield and Hyde Park were reported, and there were varied reports of damage throughout the valley as a result of the high winds.All told, 6,700 Rocky Mountain Power customers were without power at the peak of the outage, although most power was restored by midnight, but customers in Logan experienced more outages in areas west of Main Street around 11:30 p.m., and continuing into the early morning hours.Sometime during the 11 p.m. hour, the power went out in certain parts of the west side of Logan, including near the U.S. Post Office, the 7-Eleven on 400 North and along Main Street, according to eyewitness reports. Meanwhile, conditions on the roads in the northern parts of the valley were horrid. “The weather in between Richmond and North Logan was bad,” Kyle Jorgensen reported in a Facebook status update, noting that during a drive through the area he experienced a “rock storm” that damaged his windshield. Jorgensen also reported seeing uprooted trees in the road in Smithfield, as well as four blown transformers.

If you have photos of, or information about how the wind storm has impacted you, e-mail Tyler Riggs at stylerriggs@gmail.com

In Clarkston, Rod Buttars was working at the cemetery and opened the door to his truck when a gust of wind blew the door wide open and damaged his vehicle.”There were tree branches and sprinkler lines blown into the road in Newton from fields as I drove through this morning on my way to work,” Buttars added.Heather Pitcher is a Smithfield resident who saw some damage as a result of the wind also.”It blew some panels and the doors off of my greenhouse,” Pitcher said. “It knocked it off balance and the cabinet in there was on the ground. The panels flew over fences and up the block.”Pitcher also reported buckets from her neighbors blew into her yard and she would have a lot of cleaning up to do.A reader reported early Wednesday morning that several smaller tree branches were on the ground in the Canyon Road area of Logan’s Island neighborhood. There were no reports of greater damage than downed branches, however.Aside from leaving customers in North Logan in the dark, the power outage Tuesday night also reportedly prompted the cancellation of rec league hockey games at the George S. Eccles Ice Center.According to preliminary wind gust reports from the National Weather Service, the Logan-Cache Airport experienced a gust of wind of about 49 mph around 8 p.m. Tuesday night. Higher winds may have been experienced in other areas of the valley, however. At about 7 p.m., a 60 mph gust of wind was reported near Mantua, and winds upwards of 80 mph were reported in other areas of the state.Automated weather data from the Logan-Cache Airport, however, showed the maximum gust at the facility hitting 63 mph at about 11:10 p.m. Tuesday, and after midnight, gusts consistently reached above 50 mph.Because of the winds, a wind advisory is in effect until 4 a.m. Wednesday. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected, with gusts approaching 50 mph. The winds are the beginning of a late season storm that will enter the valley bringing a mix of rain and snow that will continue through the weekend.

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