High winds brought down a number of poles in the area — more than would be expected

The state's Public Service Commission plans to conduct a full investigation into why such a high number of utility poles fell in the region on Wednesday.

High winds Wednesday night took down signs, utility poles and power lines.

The downed lines trapped eight people in their vehicles on Manitou Road in Ogden. It also left many without power — including Patricia Wood, the owner of Puppy Love Doggy Hotel on Lee Road. She was without power for 24 hours.

"It was difficult, stressful but we were very fortunate that it was only for the day," she says.

Along with rows of utility poles that came down on Lee Road, eight poles fell on Manitou Road in Ogden, trapping a dozen drivers for three hours. Public Service Commission officials said new poles should be able to withstand rain, snow, ice and strong winds of 50 to 60 miles per hour — like the region had this week. So why did so many of those wooden poles and power lines come crashing down in our area?

In a statement, the PSC said: "Although it represents a tiny fraction of the total poles, the PSC is concerned about the higher-than-usual number of utility poles that were damaged as a result of the wind storm this week in the RG&E service territory; as a result, we will conduct a full and complete investigation to determine what went wrong, and whether the utility should be held accountable."

In other states, some concrete and steel poles are used instead of wood, but PSC officials say those alternatives are more costly.

Wooden poles or not, Patricia Wood says she's happy to have her power back.

"Now, I know now more than ever how important it is to have power, you really rely on it for just about everything," says Wood.

RG&E did not comment on the issue; officials say their crews were still working to clean up the downed power lines throughout the area.