In Bountiful, the final tally of damage in the city has been totaled at a little over $1 million. The power company is still working to restore power to a small scattering of homes without people in them, and the dump is still churning up tons of fallen trees and branches into a product with some value.
“The good news is that the power company had a reserve that will help pay for the storm damage,” said John Marc Knight, a Bountiful council member who spoke to the city’s rotary club recently. “The bad news is that we won’t have that reserve anymore, and it will take several years to build back up.”
Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and insurance money will help cover the rest of the cost of the damage, the brunt of which happened to the city’s power system.
After the storm, the power company’s first priority was getting the power back up as quickly as possible, which meant that in four days they replaced approximately 75 power poles and 1,600 feet of line. This included a major line out by the highway and all of the lines torn down by fallen trees, and people are still out walking the lines to make sure no damage was missed.
The only houses that are currently still without power are a few that have either been foreclosed or have owners that are still out of town. Since the damage occurred somewhere between the power line and the house itself, the houses must be checked one by one to see if the power is working.
According to Knight, the power company is also working on repairing some of the city’s streetlights that are still without power. He added that the amount of work has pushed putting up all the city’s Christmas decorations to the bottom of the company’s priority list.
“That’s the one they feel worst about,” he said. “I told them it wasn’t an issue.”
The Bountiful City Landfill is also still working through the trees and branches it took in as the city cleaned up from the wind damage. During the weekend that followed, the line for the landfill stretched out for five miles and two temporary dumps were created to handle the load.
Currently, the landfill’s grinder is working constantly, and the city expects to bring in a larger grinder as well. With both working together, Knight said that they expect the pile of wood to be finished in about 30 days. After that, the wood will be set to cooking for mulch.
“It’s the only cash crop created by landfills,” he said. “Next spring, people can buy their trees back and help pay for the storm.”