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Wasatch Back escapes without major incidents after winter storm pummels Utah

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KPCW
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Overnight snowfall caused significant issues throughout much of Utah Wednesday morning.

Tuesday night’s storm brought heavy snow and slick roads to much of Utah. Despite the severe weather, the Wasatch back saw no major accidents as of Wednesday morning.

Tuesday night’s storm dropped a significant amount of snow, with both Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley reporting eight inches of new snow overnight. Closer to twenty inches of snow was reported at upper elevations.

Park City Fire District Battalion Chief Darren Nelsen said although roads were slick, the district did not respond to any roadway accidents Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

“We were very fortunate last night," he said. "We had no major impacts as far as our highways and roadways were concerned, as far as accidents last night. The road conditions this morning, as we got out and about, were very slick and snow packed and slushy in places. Obviously, with the temperatures coming, we’re concerned with the slick nature of the roads because of all the water that was in this snowfall.”

It was a similar story in Wasatch County. Janet Carson with the Wasatch County Fire District told KPCW the district responded to three minor accidents overnight, two in the Heber Valley, and one on Highway 40 near the Strawberry Reservoir.

Although the Wasatch Back emerged from the storm relatively unscathed, the Salt Lake Valley bore the brunt of the storm’s impacts and saw over 10 inches of snow as of Wednesday morning.

The Utah Highway Patrol said it responded to over 130 storm-related accidents throughout the state as of 10am Wednesday. Snow also downed several power lines in the valley, causing power outages to thousands of homes.

Traffic in the Salt Lake Valley has also been significantly affected, with the Utah Department of Transportation urging commuters to plan ahead and expect delays on the roads in and around the Wasatch Front.

Nelsen said with more weather expected to roll in later this week, he urges everyone to be prepared if they do end up stuck on the road.

“Make sure that you’ve got your snow tires on and you’ve got a winter plan if you get stuck or stranded," Nelsen said. "Make sure that you’ve got warm gloves, hats, and clothes in your car, and be prepared to sit by and wait. Sometimes you might be waiting for a little while for some assistance.”

UDOT also announced that SR224 and Marsac Avenue below Guardsman Pass is now open after plowing early Wednesday morning. Park City Transit says the 4 orange and 9 Purple bus lines have resumed service on Marsac.