High winds blowing across eastern Idaho and western Wyoming are causing some damage and dangerous driving conditions.
The National Weather Service in Riverton, Wyo., reported an 80 mph wind gust in Moose, Wyo. It caused damage to the Jackson Lake Lodge and injured three employees, the NWS said. The wind blew out large windows and knocked down trees, power poles and large picnic tables, the NWS said. The power is back on and things are back to normal there.
In Idaho Falls and Rexburg winds gusts reached up to 44 mph Wednesday afternoon.
In Pocatello, some folk were cleaning up the mess after the winds knocked down an olive tree over a fence near Sacajewea Park.
Strong winds were also blamed for causing a good chunk of an Oak tree to come down in Iona.
Neighbors said they were pretty startled when they heard the crash.
“We were just here cleaning the house and we heard a big bang.” said Ron Bartholomew. “We didn’t think anything about it, but we came out and saw the tree out in the middle of the road.”
While the wind was mostly a nuisance to folks outside, some people on the Idaho Falls Greenbelt didn’t let it ruin their day.
“It’s still warm and it offers some resistance for some strength training,” Syndie Allen said.
“I think the Greenbelt is always beautiful,? Jennifer Miller said. ?We don’t care if it?s windy; we are going to have a good day.?
A wind advisory is in effect for much of our viewing area until 9 p.m. Wednesday. Sustained winds will be around 30 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. After 9 p.m., the wind speeds should decrease, but still remain somewhat strong.
The strong winds have the potential to pick up dust and severely reduce visibility on area highways. They can also make boating hazardous on area lakes. Trees that have been in saturated ground or near flooded areas can have weakened root systems and could potentially be blown down, taking power lines with them. The strong winds also make driving large vehicles like trucks and SUVs dangerous.