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Commuters, road crews brace for major winter storm over holiday weekend


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SALT LAKE CITY — Holiday travelers were bracing Friday for a major winter storm set to hit in the middle of their Christmas commute.

Forecasters Friday afternoon were projecting 4 to 8 inches of snow for most valley locations and higher amounts on the benches, with the heaviest snowfall expected Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

“We’ve got lots of crews on hand, all of our sheds have our equipment ready – they’re lined up to go,” said Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Zach Whitney. “They’ll rotate through for the next 48 hours to make sure that all of those roads stay clear and people will be getting where they need to safely.”

As always, crews will prioritize the most heavily travelled roads, including interstates and freeways, Whitney said.

“That’s what people need to keep in mind when they look out and that plow hasn’t come yet – they may be busy doing another road before they have time to get around to this other one,” he said.

He recommended people check the UDOT Traffic smartphone app or go to udottraffic.utah.gov to see where the UDOT plows will be at any given time.

Utah Transit Authority was also reminding holiday travelers of its holiday schedule, where most services were expected to be closed Sunday for Christmas Day.

Whitney said road crews had been resting Friday in order to be fresh for a taxing weekend of plowing.

“We’re pretty confident that this is something that we have seen in the past, we’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to keep up with those storms,” Whitney said. “We just ask a little bit of patience from the drivers because we don’t really know where it’s going to hit the hardest or how hard it’s going to hit. Once we figure those things out, we kind of just roll with those punches.”

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Andrew Adams

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