Rain pours, winds blow, tree topples onto SUV

Firefighters responded to the call of a downed power line and a tree crashing unto an SUV on 500 South by the 400 East Campus of Dixie Regional Medical Center. The incident was just one of a handful of instances caused by a passing thunder storm that snapped tree limbs and power lines in other parts of the city, St. George, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Firefighters responded to the call of a downed power line and a tree crashing onto an SUV on 500 South by the 400 East Campus of Dixie Regional Medical Center. This incident was just one of several caused by a passing thunderstorm that snapped tree limbs and power lines in other parts of the city, St. George, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Sometimes more than rain falls during a passing thunderstorm – like trees.

Around 5 p.m., a short-lived downpour accompanied by high winds caused multiple utility issues around the city, St. George Fire Battalion Chief Robert Hooper said.

A handful of power lines snapped and limbs from several trees broke and fell to earth, littering the side of some roads and parks.

On 500 South, just across the street from the 400 East campus of Dixie Regional Medical Center, strong winds uprooted a large tree, which toppled over – right onto a parked SUV.

The owners of the SUV, Von and Patty Hansen, of St. George, said the SUV was a new vehicle. Both work at the hospital’s 400 East campus and typically park under the tree that clobbered their car.

“We’ll be alright,” Von Hansen said.

His wife, Patty, was even more philosophical, saying, “He’s already called the insurance company. Now we have a natural sunroof.”

In addition to falling on the SUV, the tree also took out a power line.

Firefighters responded to the call of a downed power line and a tree crashing unto an SUV on 500 South by the 400 East Campus of Dixie Regional Medical Center. The incident was just one of a handful of instances caused by a passing thunder storm that snapped tree limbs and power lines in other parts of the city, St. George, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Firefighters responded to the call of a downed power line and a tree crashing onto an SUV on 500 South by the 400 East Campus of Dixie Regional Medical Center. The incident was just one of several caused by a passing thunderstorm that snapped tree limbs and power lines in other parts of the city, St. George, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

St. George Police units blocked 500 South at 300 East and 400 East as a responding crew from the St. George Fire Department worked to cut apart as much of the downed tree as possible.

A crew from the city’s Energy Services Department was also on scene to deal with the snapped power line and de-energize it.

Another area where power lines had snapped was on North 700 West between Bluff Street and Diagonal Street, Hooper said. Work crews were also at that location tending to the incident.

Another tree was reported to be uprooted in the area of 600 North and 600 West as well.

After cutting down much of the tree via a chainsaw, the firefighters swept the cut tree limbs to the side of the road and waited for the arrival of the city’s Streets and Parks divisions to continue cutting up the tree.

No one was in the SUV when the tree fell on it, Hooper said. Visible damage to the SUV included a hefty dent on the passenger side of the vehicle where the tree trunk had impacted the roof.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

St. George News reporter Ric Wayman contributed to this report.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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