OGDEN — One limb at a time, the debris left scattered after last week’s severe windstorms is making its way out of the lawns, parks and streets of Weber County.
It’s been a collective effort, and on Monday, the focus in Ogden at least was on the city’s parks. “We’ve been in a full-court press since last (week),” said Mayor Mike Caldwell, who helped gather debris at Mount Ogden Park, one of nine city parks that was the focus of a concerned cleanup campaign involving city staffers and others from the public.
A contingent from the Ogden Police Department helped clean Lorin Farr Park, clearing fallen limbs to reveal the green grass below.
“You wouldn’t recognize it. It’s amazing,” said Deputy Chief Eric Young. “Let’s all get our parks to where people can enjoy them.”
Strong winds approaching 100 mph at times last Tuesday and Wednesday in Weber County and along the Wasatch Front downed trees and limbs, creating a big mess for many, damaging homes and other buildings and leaving many without power. Up to 195,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers across Utah had lost power last week, but that figure had been whittled to around 2,300 as of Monday evening, with around 750 of them ranging from South Weber to Pleasant View.
Caldwell likened last week’s storms to similar weather systems in 2016 and 2011, and leaders and the public joined forces to contend with its aftermath.
Weber County officials gathered Saturday in the Uintah Highlands area of southern Weber County to help with cleanup efforts there and in adjacent Washington Terrace and South Ogden. County Commissioners Jim Harvey and Scott Jenkins, county crews operating heavy equipment and many volunteers gathered at a collection center at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stake center there, offloading debris brought in by the public so it could be hauled out.
“They needed help with extra equipment. That’s where we came in,” said Harvey. The effort Saturday lasted roughly from sunup to sundown.
Mayor Mark Allen of hard hit Washington Terrace said volunteers from all over the county came to his city to help haul off debris. “I’d say we’re probably three-quarters of the way there. It’s looking really good,” Allen said.
Indeed, Harvey said streets left inaccessible by debris have largely been cleared. The public “can resume some form of normalcy,” he said.
Still, work will continue, even if the heaviest of lifting is over.
Rocky Mountain Power spokesperson Spencer Hall said efforts continue to restore power in the South Ogden and Uintah area, among other locales, though most still without should get their power back by Tuesday. “These last few are taking a long time,” he said.
Hauling and chipping all the debris, too, will take some time. “I think we’ll be working, cleaning up for six months,” Caldwell said.
Washington Heights opened a green waste center to collect debris near the city’s public works facility at 5600 South and Adams Avenue. Ogden has two green waste centers, at 1845 Monroe Blvd. and 720 Park Blvd.