This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Marriages went on as scheduled Monday at the Salt Lake County Government Center, but that was about all.
Other operations at the two-building government complex at 2100 S. State were left in darkness and without telephone service starting at 8:45 a.m. when a traffic accident knocked out electricity from a Rocky Mountain Power substation, said county emergency services director Jeff Graviett.
Almost 1,300 customers were impacted overall, the power company's website said.
Graviett said a backup generator was energized to provide power to essential technological functions, but there was not enough left over for other employees to "call 911 if they needed to or to perform daily functions," he said. By 11 a.m. it became apparent that repairs were going to take several hours, Graviett added, so the decision was made to shut down most operations and send employees home for the rest of the day.
Skeleton crews remained in the offices of the mayor and the independently elected officials such as County Clerk Sherrie Swensen.
"We had wedding ceremonies scheduled every half hour all day long until 4 p.m. We can't just ruin people's wedding days," she said. "We would never do that. If it would have been a bomb threat, it would have been different. But for a power outage …"
The room in the clerk's office where marriages usually are performed was too dark for use Monday, so Swensen moved the morning ceremonies just outside of her office, into a spacious hallway with sufficient natural light to proceed with the exchange of vows.
"They took it very well," she said of couples' reactions to the slight detour, noting that as long as they could accomplish what they set out to do get married the people were satisfied.
After the lights came back on about 12:45 p.m., Swensen said, the usual daily routine resumed.