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Over 100 accidents in first major snow storm; power being restored


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SALT LAKE CITY — The first major snow storm of the year blew through the Wasatch Front starting Friday evening, and snow has continued to fall through Sunday afternoon. The quickly piling snow and sleet has cause over 100 accidents and injured at least 34 people over the last two days, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.

On Saturday and Sunday so far, there have been 116 incidents of property damage in Salt Lake Country and 24 incidents involving personal injury. In Utah County, those numbers were 23 and 3 respectively; In Weber County, 4 and 2; and in Davis County, 51 and 5.

The UHP offered advice to those driving on how to avoid accidents.

  1. Slow Down
  2. Keep a safe distance from other cars, following at least 2-3 seconds behind a car in front of you
  3. Keep an eye out for traffic ahead of you
  4. Wear a seat belt UHP also encouraged people to get safely off the freeway after a fender bender if possible. They emphasized a new law in place which is supposed to protect the safety of both officers and drivers in accidents: If the cars involved in an accident are drivable and no one is injured, folks should drive slowly down the shoulder to the nearest exit. UHP officers will meet drivers in accidents there.

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In other storm-related damage, as many as 1800 homes along the Wasatch Front were without power throughout the day, according to Rocky Mountain Power's website.

"Rocky Mountain Power has all resources available assisting with restoration efforts and will be working through the evening as quickly and as safely as possible to restore service to all," Rocky Mountain Power said in a statement.

Customers can call 877-508-5088 to report outages.

KSL meterologist Lynae Miyer reported the season's first major winter storm dropped considerable snow on areas around the Great Salt Lake while other areas of state didn't see any snowfall. As much as 17 inches fell in the upper Avenues and other parts of Salt Lake County while areas in Davis County such as Centerville recorded 18 inches of snow.

In the Wasatch Mountains, ski resorts added to their snowpacks with about 46 inches of new snow recorded at Snowbird and Alta. About 35 inches fell in Big Cottonwood Canyon while Provo Canyon recorded 10 inches of new snow.

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As the storm retreated a wave of cold temperatures dropped in behind it pulling overnight lows into the teens in northern Utah.

Temperatures are expected to slowly climb throughout the week with highs passing 50 degrees by Thursday and headed into the weekend. A 20 percent chance of rain is in the forecast for Saturday.

The National Weather Service reported record lows in some far-flung parts of the state Saturday. Milford's new record low is 4 degrees, passing the 1935 record of 6 degrees, while Bullfrog dropped to 26 degrees, beating the 1975 record of 19 degrees. Capitol Reef National Park tied its record low 22 degrees, set in 2000.

Further North, The Idaho State Police say a Salt Lake Express bus slid off Interstate 15 Sunday morning, sending three passengers to the hospital. The company says the bus was traveling from Salt Lake City to Rexburg, Idaho.

Contributing: Devon Dolan, The Associated Press

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