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Big snow delights powder hounds, snarls traffic

UDOT snow plow in Parley's Canyon
UDOT snow plow in Parley's Canyon

Park City and portions of the Wasatch Back got upwards of 15 inches of snow over the past 24 hours. As skiers and riders celebrated, commuters struggled.

A heavy dumping of snow Monday night that continued into Tuesday morning impacted commuters across the Wasatch Front and Back but emergency services reported no serious injuries.

Drivers reported heavy traffic at the mouth of Parleys Canyon all the way up I-80 to Kimball Junction Tuesday morning.

Several Park City area commuters who drove westbound into Salt Lake City said their drive times about doubled due to poor road conditions.

The traction law was put into effect in both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. UDOT reported that even drivers with proper traction devices were struggling to get up Little Cottonwood Canyon Tuesday morning.

From Monday into Tuesday morning, Summit County Sheriff’s Department responded to 29 weather-related car accidents, eight were slide-offs and three where minor injuries occurred.

In Wasatch County, one slide off-accident was reported Monday night.

Hundreds of residents in Summit Park were without power for several hours but it wasn’t related to the storm.

A transmission pole caught on fire Monday evening and knocked out power for more than 1,000 homes.

It remains unclear what started the fire, but Rocky Mountain Power said it could have been started by a foreign object touching the line, an arc from one line to another or an animal, although no evidence of an animal was found near the transmission line.

Power has since been restored for the majority, if not all customers who were without in Summit Park.

Temperatures are expected to be below freezing overnight Tuesday, so ice on the roadways will be a concern.

According to the National Weather Service, more snow is on the way later this week. A fresh coating of powder will arrive early Thursday night into Friday morning with three to five inches of new accumulation expected.

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