High winds halt flights, close portion of major highway in Utah; 1 traffic death reported

Howling winds have halted flights at Salt Lake City's airport and toppled semitrailers on Interstate 80, causing authorities to close a 100-mile stretch of northern Utah's main east-west highway.

Sgt. Todd Royce of the Utah Highway Patrol says at least three semitrailers rolled on I-80, causing one death. With visibility practically zero, other cars crashed into the wrecked semis.

Royce says there are more injuries, and ambulances were on their way to the scene.

Lisa Miller of the state Department of Transportation says the interstate is closed in both directions from the Utah-Nevada border to about 20 miles west of Salt Lake City.

National Weather Service meteorologist Christine Kruse says winds as high as 82 mph have been reported in that part of the state.

Meanwhile, Salt Lake City International Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann says all flights in and out of the airport are temporarily on hold.