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First snow of the season closes schools, disrupts morning commute

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OGDEN — A big winter storm blasted through northern Utah Thursday, creating hazardous driving conditions and forcing two school closures.

Heavy snow is nothing new for Morgan School District Superintendent Ken Adams and his staff. But he admitted Thursday morning's storm took everyone a bit by surprise.

"You've seen snow early before. It's pretty unusual to get this much," he said.

School closures

Mountain Green Elementary and Morgan Elementary were closed because heavy snowfall was preventing teachers and students from getting to class.

"Teachers couldn't get to school. Buses were having an extremely difficult time getting up the hills in the Mountain Green area. The roads were so congested, I couldn't get my buses in and out," Adams said.

Teachers couldn't get to school. Buses were having an extremely difficult time getting up the hills in the Mountain Green area.

–Ken Adams, Morgan School District

For the kids, the reason for the closures was as exciting as the unexpected day off.

"They're really excited to play in the snow, because it's been a long time," said Morgan resident Melanie Andrews. "Last year we didn't hardly get any."

"We've probably had 6 to 7 inches (of snow) so far," said Dave Pike, who also lives in Morgan.

Just about the time buses picked up Morgan High School students, the snow started falling heavily. It took some high school students an hour to get to school, Adams said. By the time the buses were scheduled to pick up the elementary school students, I-84 was closed.

"The conditions just got so it wasn't safe," he said.


Officers shut down I-84 from the mouth of Weber Canyon to Morgan due to heavy snow. Heavy snow also forced the closure of Ogden Canyon just before 8 a.m. due to multiple crashes, according to the Weber County Sheriff's Office. It reopened about an hour later.

Snowfall along the Wasatch Front

Further south, the snow seemed to be even deeper in Ogden; and the eastern benches from Bountiful to Draper were also covered in snow.

Salt Lake County resident Cheryl Farr cleared her 84-year-old mother's driveway before worrying about her own, or herself.

"I wasn't prepared for this one," Farr said. "I'm out here in a sweater; that was really dumb!"

A messy commute

The morning commute into Salt Lake and Utah counties was also slowed by multiple accidents on the freeways.

Just before 10 a.m., a four-car accident, including a jackknifed semitrailer, occurred on southbound I-15 near Lindon. No serious injuries were reported. Crashes involving multiple vehicles and rollovers were also reported Tuesday morning on I-215 at 700 North and I-215 at 6200 South.

In Salt Lake and Utah counties, the Utah Highway Patrol responded to 38 accidents, including nine that involved injuries, from midnight until 10:45 a.m.

Car accident totals
Box Elder County – 2 crashes
Weber County – 12 crashes
Davis County – 15 crashes
Salt Lake and Utah counties – 38 crashes

About 6:30 a.m., a car collided with a TRAX train at 300 West and South Temple. A woman was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Emergency crews had to cut the door off of the woman's car to free her. Witnesses say the train was headed down 300 West when the car drove into it. The woman was in pain but her injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

It's unknown if weather was a factor in the accident.

KSL meteorologist Grant Weyman forecasted up to 3 inches of snow could fall on the Salt Lake Valley floor throughout the day Thursday. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the Wasatch and western Uinta mountains until 4 p.m. Hazardous weather conditions were also predicted for much of the state, on and off through Thursday night.

Contributing: Andrew Adams and Shara Park


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