High Winds Raise Concerns

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) - High winds are blowing through the state today and those gusts could cause some problems for truck drivers if they aren't careful.  

The good news is that we will be seeing the peak of the strong winds Tuesday.  Speaking with drivers this morning as they headed down I-80 many said they look at the speed of the wind, its direction, and the size and weight of their trucks to determine whether they honker down until the wind blows over or if they continue on their route.

"9 times out of 10 I usually just go till they close the roads or I feel unsafe," said Scott Livingston.

Livingston has been a very cautious and careful driver since he got behind the wheel of a trailer 15 years ago.  

"My life is worth more than their freight," he said.

But he's not gone without his close calls.  Last week he said he drove through an area where he had to pull over for 2 days because the road had been closed down because of strong winds.  

"I’ve been blown around a lot but I’ve always stopped," he said. 

There's a wind advisory in place Tuesday until at least 9:00 p.m.

"So, we can expect those winds at least from the south at 20/30 miles per hour even up to 25/30 miles per hour and that’s a sustained wind that’s a wind speed that we average at the airports over 2 minutes and the gusts could be higher even 45 to 50 miles per hour if not more," said ABC4 News Meteorologist Devon Lucie.

We've seen what strong winds can do as they are capable of knocking down large semi-trucks.

"If your loads heavy you’ve got more stability if your loads light you can flip over," said Livingston.

Just last summer strong winds toppled two semi trucks within minutes of each other in Granstville.  Though it's not blowing as hard today as it was then, a little caution is still necessary.  

"For those with SUV’s, vans, even mini vans, one’s that are gonna seat more people and especially for trucks..." adds Lucie.  

He mentions areas of concern should be along I-80 between the Great Salt Lake and Wendover.  He also cautions people driving along SR-201 and the 215 Belt Route between Sandy and South Jordan.  

This afternoon, road signs along I-80 near Grantsville were alerting truck drivers and those driving large vehicles to exercise caution as wind gusts were around 50 miles-per-hour.

"We're gonna be breezy upwards to about 15 to 25 miles-per-hour tomorrow and maybe even gusts of about 30 to 35 miles-per-hour," added Lucie.  

That breeze, he says, is expected to last up until Friday.  Late this morning the wind was fluctuating in intensity.  For Livingston they weren't so bad that it would be affecting his route.  And will continue along until he begins to feel conditions become unsafe.  Others told use once wind gusts hit 50 miles-per-hour they preferred to pull off to the side and wait it out.  


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