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Snow squalls pepper Summit County: A new storm designation mixes with holiday crowds

Utah Department of Public Safety

When heading out on the roads, holiday visitors, traffic backups, and snowstorms are some obstacles drivers encounter. KPCW has this update on the snow, the crowds, and the weather alert many recently received on their phones Monday night. 

Summit County Sheriff's Lieutenant Andrew Wright said the weather combined with the crowds create dangerous road conditions, and his deputies couldn't keep up with the number of slide-offs and car crashes the day after Christmas.

On Monday, Wright said he found himself driving during a snowsquall and was shocked by the sudden change in weather conditions.

"I was in the Salt Lake Valley yesterday when that alert went out, and you could see to the northwest of the valley it was really bizarre looking, I'm sure you've seen the photos, how the cloud wall looked like it was just down touching the ground and it moved in. I had been out driving. I was like, oh my gosh, I'm getting off the streets before it hits."

Resident Corrie Forsling said she encountered the snow squall while driving home from Coalville to Park City on I-80.
"So, I was working in Coalville. At the time, I was about ready to go home, and I got that notification about the snow squall. And I thought, Hmm, I wonder if they're serious. And it mentioned I-80 at Coalville, and that was right where I needed to drive to get back to Park City. And so, I thought, just wait here for half an hour. Maybe make sure it's gone. It was the craziest drive home ever. I was thinking, I've lived here for 22 years. This has to be in the top three that I've ever experienced driving home--it was a total white-out. People were stopped on I-80. You couldn't see anything in front of you. I ran into the rumble strip. I was like, okay, that does mean I'm going off the road. I really should have stayed in my office."

Wright said people should be ready before going out on the roads in winter conditions.

"So, people need to really be prepared. Double-check your tires. Make sure that you have proper tires to be out in this winter weather. You know, make sure that you've got all good wipers, and wiper fluid to clear your windshield because all the salt they put on the roads makes it difficult to see if you don't have good wipers and fluids to clear that. And then you know, really clearing all the snow off your vehicle is super important--that was off the top of your roof because it can create hazards not only  for you, but for other drivers. If that falls off, comes and slides down over your windshield, blows off and a piece of ice hits someone's car."

Despite the many wrecks and slide-offs during the last snow episode, Wright said no serious injuries were reported.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.