Storm Knocked Out Power to 14,000 Magic Valley Customers
A storm with wind gusts in excess of 50 mph hit the Magic Valley Region Saturday, knocking over trees, toppling power poles and relocating garbage bins.
About 14,000 people were without power in the Magic Valley from Gooding to Oakley, according to an Idaho Power Company spokesperson, with most having electricity restored Sunday; about 100 customers were without power as late as of 3 a.m. Monday. Idaho Power reported 300 separate power outages after the storm hit Saturday afternoon with wind gust in some areas blowing more than 60 mph, according to the U.S. National Weather Service in Boise. In Jerome the winds blew down 30 power poles along U.S. Highway 93 in Jerome County, killing power to much of Lincoln and Gooding County. The section is part of a transmission line that fed several substations to those communities, said Melissa Thom with Idaho Power Co.
People took to social media to show the damage in places like Wendell, which issued a boil advisory late Saturday after power went out to one of the wells and the pressure dropped in the system. Some showed video of the wind blowing a waterfall up the wall of the Snake River Canyon, while toppled trees on houses and cars were shared by others.
According to National Weather Service data, Jerome County experienced 58 mph wind gusts Saturday afternoon, Twin Falls County had 63 mph wind gusts, Cassia County 52 mph gusts. Thom said the company received roughly 21,000 reports to the hotline during the weekend, a significant amount they haven't seen since 2004. She said several crews worked to restore power and repair the system with help from work crews in the Boise and Pocatello areas. Thom said workmen wanted to thank the Magic Valley for the support they showed while working to get the power back on.