Christmas weekend snow storms cause delays, minor accidents
Winter storms made for dangerous conditions over Christmas weekend, disrupting traffic, as well as ski lifts, throughout the Wasatch Back.
Heavy snowfall and winds reached peak strength Saturday night and lasted through Sunday morning.
According to Summit County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Andrew Wright, there were nine car accidents Sunday in Summit and Wasatch counties. Most of them were single cars sliding off the snowy roads. Despite the high number, there were no injuries reported.
Weather-related driving requirements included traction devices on Marsac Avenue in Park City, and the speed limit in Parleys Canyon was reduced to 35 miles per hour.
One accident in Parleys Canyon closed the right westbound lane for a short period Sunday morning. The majority of the other accidents were either on the interstate or on U.S. Highway 40, north and south of Heber City.
“Make sure that you have good tires,” Wright said, warning of still more snow in the forecast. “If you don’t have your vehicle in good repair - that includes tires - make sure that you get to an auto shop and get that taken care of as soon as you can. The biggest thing that you can do is slow down, keep distance between you and other vehicles.”
He said all too often, accidents happen when drivers get impatient with snow-plow trucks.
“Respect snow-plow operations. Let the snow plows do their job. Never try to overtake a snow plow. Stay behind them, give them distance. They’re out there for a reason, they’re trying to keep us safe, they’re clearing the roads, they’re putting salt and sand on the roadway. So, give them plenty of room to do their job, and the sooner that you let them do their job, the safer it is for us to travel down the roadways,” Wright said.
Also on Sunday, Park City Mountain Resort delayed opening eight lifts and gondolas due to winds. They opened later in the day.
The resort canceled its Sunday night outdoor movie screening at Canyons Village.
On Sunday morning, the Utah Avalanche Center warned of high avalanche risk in the backcountry, not only in the Wasatch Back but through much of the state. A representative said that’s due to “significant snowfall” recently and winds up to 70 miles an hour.