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“Snowmageddon meets trashpocalypse” in Summit County Wednesday

SNOW Party 1.jpg
No school? No problem! Park City families took advantage of the snow day to hit slopes of all sizes and pitches.

Scenes around Summit County ranged from powder parties and sledding to shovel sessions and stuck cars.

A bigger-than-expected overnight storm added anywhere from 10" to nearly two feet of fresh snow, depending on where people were measuring, to the winter's already impressive totals.

Park City Mountain reported 18" between Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

The Park City School District first delayed school start times due to road conditions affecting buses, then canceled school and district office work completely due to a power outage.

It was only the second snow day in the past four years for the school district.

Private schools in Summit County mostly opened on delayed schedules. In Salt Lake, Rowland Hall and Waterford both opened; Waterford with a delay and Rowland Hall on time, which some parents said was causing significant disappointment among their children.

These Jeremy Ranch elementary schoolers were NOT shy about expressing how much they prefer snow days to school days. From left: Celine Arnold, Nora Arnold, Reese Arnold, Haddie Page.

The Rocky Mountain Power outage initially affected about 1,700 addresses, but pretty much everything was up and running by midday, though some traffic lights at intersections were without power for a portion of the day, adding to motorists' woes.

Park City Hospital was one of the bigger customers affected by the power outage. A spokesperson said the hospital canceled some appointments and non-emergency procedures, but clinics resumed normal operations around noon. The emergency room ran on generators and was operational throughout the power outage.

Despite the heavy wet snow, the Summit County Sheriff’s office reported no major injuries or incidents. But things were still busy for dispatch workers and first responders.

Captain Andrew Wright said between Tuesday and Wednesday morning there had been at least two dozen slide-offs or road service calls as well as 12 accidents.

Wright called roads treacherous, advised against non-necessary travel, and reminded residents to refrain from parking on streets longer than absolutely necessary. He said cars along roadways could impede first responders during emergencies as well as make plowing even more difficult.

Commuters and residents reported that Highway 224 was extremely messy - and crowded with powder-seekers.

The Utah Highway Patrol said it had responded to one rollover with minor injuries in the Wasatch Back as well as several other minor incidents.

Less traveled roads were generally in worse shape.

In upper Pinebrook residents reported a car without snow tires stuck on Buckboard blocking travel Wednesday morning. It had been excavated my midday, but that street was single-lane only and very slippery.

Grace Carter in Summit Park coined the term “Snowmageddon vs trashpocalypse” and suggested it should be a 2023 Sundance feature.

Those are - were? - trash cans in Pinebrook.

Joking aside, trash cans piled high were still full - and in many cases, partially or fully buried in snow - in some neighborhoods Wednesday afternoon. Republic Services, which Summit County contracts with to provide trash and recycling pickup, continued to plead for patience on social media as it revised estimates for when it would get to people’s houses.

Michelle, who joined KPCW in 2021, arrived in Utah in 2018 by way of Massachusetts, where the skiing was icy and the mosquitoes formidable. A former daily newspaper reporter and editor (at the Visalia Times-Delta in CA) and columnist (at The Cohasset Mariner in MA), Michelle has been a writer and editor for decades. She holds a journalism degree from CSU Fresno and has worked as a journalist, freelance writer and web content creator, reporting extensively on education and youth along with general assignment and breaking news.