Major wind storm roars through southern Idaho

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by KTVB.COM

NWCN.com

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 6:36 AM

BOISE -- Monday's high winds caused widespread power outages, knocked down trees, toppled semitrailers, closed area ski lifts, and even canceled a Saint Patrick's Day Parade.

That's after a major wind storm roared through southern Idaho shortly after 4 a.m.

The National Weather Service reports wind speeds over 60 mph in the Magic Valley. Gusts near Boise and Mountain Home topped out around 50 mph.

POWER OUTAGES

Crews restored power after strong winds knocked down to more than 2,000 customers throughout the Treasure Valley Monday morning.

  • Idaho Power reported 800 customers without power in the Caldwell area.
  • More than 600 customers were without power in the Meridian and Kuna areas near Columbia, Locust Grove, and Meridian roads.
  • About 25 customers were without power in downtown Kuna.
  • Those in Eagle and Star without power included about 256 customers near Langtree Gulch Road, Can-Ada Road, and Purple Sage Road.
  • About 50 customers were without power in Boise near North 25th and 26th streets, along with portions of Lemp, Harris, and Hazel streets.
  • An outage in the Bruneau-Grandview area is affecting about 45 customers in various rural areas.
  • Finally, about 25 customers have lost power in Melba near Can-Ada Road.

An Idaho Power spokesperson said as of 4:30 p.m. all of those customers except in the Bruneau area had the power back on.  However, crews remain very busy in the Magic Valley where the damage from the storm appears to be more extensive.  At one point during the day, 6,000 customers were with power.  By 4:30 p.m. the number had been reduced to about 3,500, but crews were expected to be busy well into the night getting the power back on in some rural areas.

STORM DAMAGE

The strong winds also knocked down trees, damaged homes, kicked up dust storms, and toppled four semitrailers.

A family of seven got a rude awakening Monday when a large tree fell on a Garden City mobile home and smashed a car parked outside. Get that story here.

Elmore County dispatchers reported zero visibility on State Highway 167 due to blowing dust. The road was briefly closed after the limited visibility caused an injury accident.

High winds caused two semitrailers to overturn on the Perrine Bridge on U.S. Highway 93. The bridge was blocked in both directions for several hours. No one was hurt. The bridge reopened to traffic shortly after 3 p.m.

A similar incident happened on the Hansen Bridge on State Highway 50. One semitrailer was reportedly blown onto the guard rails there. The bridge was briefly reopened, but another truck was blown over and it was closed again.

Commercial truck drivers with empty or light loads are cautioned to stay away off these exposed roadways until the wind dies down.

CLOSURES

  • Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is closed due to high winds impacting the safe operation of chairlifts.
  • The City of Twin Falls Saint Patrick's Day Parade scheduled for noon has been canceled due to high winds.
  • The Bliss Rest Area on Interstate 84 near mile post 133 is closed due to a power outage and high winds.

 

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