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Residents struggle in face of power outages

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Residents of West Valley City spent their Wednesday waiting for the lights to come back on. It was one of the areas hit hard by down power lines.

According to Rocky Mountain Power, as of Wednesday afternoon more than 800 West Valley City residents were without power after a utility pole caught fire around 3:45 a.m. By 9 p.m., the number of those without power climbed to more than 2,000 after a vehicle ran into a utility pole.

“My wife has been home all day and she hasn’t been able to do ironing or laundry or things that she would normally do,” said resident Charles Little.

Little has tried his best to cope without electricity.

“Here is our little bag of dry ice hopefully keeping our refrigerator a little bit cooler,” said Little as he walked FOX 13 News through his Rawhide Drive home.

Little is especially worried about the seniors in this neighborhood.

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New program aims to help Utah smokers quit

SALT LAKE CITY — Smoking may be less present in Utah than in other states, but it is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the state.

The Utah Department of Health is pushing people to kick the habit, and on Wednesday Adam Bramwell of the Utah Tobacco Prevention and Control Program came to the FOX 13 News studio to discuss their new campaign to help people quit. The new campaign is called Way to Quit, and it embraces the wide variety of methods people use to quit smoking.

See the video above for information about the program, and click here for more details as well as resources for those who hope to quit smoking.

House fire displaces two Kearns families

KEARNS, Utah — Two families are safe after the Kearns home they share caught fire Wednesday morning.

The fire started around 4:00 at a home near 4500 W 4865 S.

Unified Fire officials credit Unified Police officers for alerting them to the early morning blaze, allowing them to help the 10 people living at the home to safety.

“The police officers were [...] in the area on an unrelated incident. As they were wrapping their business up, apparently they noticed some smoke in the area and were able to locate it at this address,” said Captain Zach Robinson, Unified Fire Authority.”

Robinson estimates the damage at $30,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Strong storm causes damages, power outages in northern Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — “It was blasting things off the trees and into the yard and knocked slats off my fence and I’m thinking this is pretty bad,” said Brad Gregory of Sugar House.

But things got worse for Gregory when a large branch snapped off of his neighbor’s tree and crashed through his car.

“It’s a mess, and there was nothing wrong with this tree; I swear that was a powerful, powerful gust of wind,” Gregory said.

Gregory’s house was just one of several clean up stops for tree removal businesses working in Salt Lake County Wednesday.

The gusts knocked down trees and left yards covered with debris, which crews have been out cleaning up since Tuesday night. But trees weren’t the only thing to come down: The wind was so strong it toppled power poles, and the lack of electricity is making it hard for one business to get anything done.

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New U-Turn in Kearns causes accidents, residents say

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Public defender appointed for woman accused of killing six newborns

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  • Megan Huntsman, a Utah woman accused of killing six babies she gave birth to over 10 years appears in court Monday, April 21, 2014, in Provo. Authorities say 39-year-old Huntsman told investigators that she either strangled or suffocated the six children and then put them inside boxes in her garage. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)

Experts, residents react to earthquake that shook Salt Lake Valley

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude 3.2 earthquake just a few miles northeast of Tooele on Saturday night.

While no immediate damage was reported, it certainly shook quite a few homes.

“It’s scary. I’m glad it was just a minor one,” said Melody Addis, who lives in Erda.

As she and her kids were heading to bed Saturday night, they felt a jolt.

“All of a sudden we just feel this major shaking going on,” said 13-year-old Branden Addis.

According to data from seismic monitors, their home was in the community closest to the epicenter of the quake, which is why they felt so much movement.

“It was really light. It just happened to be in an area where a lot of people live,” said Keith Koper, a seismologist at the University of Utah.

While the quake did not register high on the Richter scale, it was still fairly significant in Koper’s eyes.