Snow blankets Salt Lake valley


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Wednesday morning's storm dumped eight to 10 inches of snow in the mountains and at least three inches along the east bench of the Salt Lake Valley.

In several areas around the valley the storm created power outages and resulted in property damage and delays. But overall, it was pretty short lived.

"The snow is here, but it will be gone by tomorrow," said snowplow driver Jeff Graskeit.

Graskeit got an early start Wednesday morning. Around 4 a.m., he was called out to deal with a fresh layer of snow.

"It's just how Utah works," he said.

All along the Wasatch Front, people were impacted by Wednesday morning's weather. At Mount Jordan Middle School in Sandy power was out all morning. Cars lined up dropping kids off in the dark.

"There are only lights on in the auditorium, as of right now, but we have enough windows in our school that when the sun comes up our classrooms are well lit," Assistant Principal Matt Watts said.

The school's outage also affected 743 other customers in the Sandy area. Rocky Mountain Power said the weight of all the new snow caused a connector sleeve on a nearby power line to pull apart. By 10:30 a.m., the line was fixed and power was restored. School then continued as scheduled.

Elsewhere in the valley, outages were the result of downed power lines. In Midvale, a power line fell victim to a tree.

Overall, Rocky Mountain Power says about 2,500 customers were affected by the storm. Most of those customers, however, had power back within a few hours.

On the roads, Utah drivers did pretty well for themselves. Troopers say between midnight and 9 a.m. there were only 14 crashes or slide-offs in the Salt Lake Valley, with only two having minor injuries.

"It was pretty mild," said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Randy Riches. "[The] majority of commuters slowed down and took their time to get to work; and for the most part, crashes were pretty minimal."

Riches said last week's rain storm may have helped prepare commuters for driving conditions Wednesday. He hopes the trend will continue and the crash numbers will be lower this year.

"I hope this has prepared people, and people see that we can commute every day and make it work safely," Riches said.

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Story written with contributions from Andrew Adams and Shara Park.

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