Roof, trees, power lines come down as massive wind gusts blow into eastern Idaho
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IDAHO FALLS — Strong winds moved into eastern Idaho Monday afternoon bringing down trees, power lines and a roof at the Eastern Idaho State Fair.
“The roof of one of the beef buildings blew off just 30 minutes ago at the state fair,” EastIdahoNews.com columnist Lane Ellis reported around 5 p.m. “The beef show for 4h will still be starting in 10 minutes in spite of the weather and roof removal.”
As crews in Blackfoot were dealing with the downed roof, police and firefighters were called to the intersection of Lincoln Road and Woodruff Avenue in Idaho Falls after power lines came down around 4:40 p.m.
Rocky Mountain Power reports 95 outages affecting over 1,600 customers as of 6:50 p.m. The majority of the outages are in Bonneville County.
The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. with gusts expected up 55 mph.
“We need to emphasize this is not a typical windy day in Idaho,” NWS meteorologists said in a news release. “This is a very strong back-door cold front, bringing in a surge of cold Canadian northerly air. Winds from a strong northerly direction in September are exceedingly atypical.”
The high wind warning is in effect for the following communities: Idaho Falls, Ammon, Rexburg, Rigby, Ririe, St. Anthony, Ashton, Island Park, Challis, Mackay, Driggs, Victor, Pocatello, Chubbuck, Blackfoot, American Falls, Shelley, Firth, Fort Hall, Dubois and Spencer.
Winds can cause severe damage to homes and property, down trees and power lines and create dangerous travel conditions. The National Weather Service advises folks to secure or bring inside objects that could blow around, such as lawn furniture.
A red flag warning is also in effect for all of eastern Idaho between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. Humidity is expected to drop as low as eight percent. The humidity, combined with the high winds referenced above, will create critical fire conditions. Fires are more likely to start during red flag conditions, and already burning fires may spread quickly.
Additionally, a freeze watch has been issued for Idaho Falls, Rexburg, St. Anthony and Mud Lake. Temperatures might drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. Snow showers are possible in some areas due to the rapid temperature change.