Snow plow drivers prepare for a very white Christmas

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SALT LAKE CITY — While people across Utah dream of a white Christmas, state plow drivers are resting up tonight for what could be a challenging couple of days clearing roads. They've been mostly idle so far this winter, except in the mountains. But, in some areas they could be pushing snow until Friday night.

"It's going to come pretty big," said Adan Carrillo, a spokesman with UDOT. "It's going to hit us hard."

If you don't necessarily have to travel tomorrow, UDOT recommends you might want to enjoy the white Christmas close to home. Snow is forecast for most of the state through 6 p.m. Friday.

"It's pretty much all hands on deck tomorrow morning," said Carrillo.

The Wasatch Front hasn't experienced a snowstorm all the way down to the valley floor so far this season, and the drivers will be ready to go with their plows and salt trucks.

"We've been waiting for this big storm for quite some time now," Carrillo said. "We've been talking about it. We are ready. But, we haven't had any snow to push."

UDOT expects to send nearly all of its 500 plows out on the roads across the state once the snow moves in early morning. Most of the plow drivers were off Thursday.

"They're getting ready, getting some rest," he said. "They're going to start hitting the roads as early as four o'clock in the morning, some of them perhaps even earlier than that."

So, they got a break Christmas Eve.

"We wanted them to have some time with their families and enjoy some of the holidays with them."

Right now, the UDOT Traffic app details road conditions statewide for just about every route motorists might consider. The warnings are widespread for interstates, state highways and state roads. The UDOT traffic app highlights whether specific roads will be snowy, icy, or just wet. It also displays multiple traffic cameras for a closer look at the conditions.

"Pretty much every road statewide will be impacted because of the snowstorm," Carrillo said.

St. George may dodge most of the snowy mayhem, Carrillo said. Without bitter cold temperatures, the salt should be able to do its job on most surfaces.

UDOT reminds motorists to buckle up, slow down and take it easy in challenging conditions. Also, give the plows plenty of room to work. The drivers recommend a following distance of 200 or 300 feet, for your safety and theirs.

"Give them enough space, and they will be out of your way in no time."

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Jed Boal


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