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Winter storm warning issued for northern, western Utah

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Nov 26th, 2019 @ 6:16pm | Posted - Nov 26th, 2019 @ 8:01am



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SALT LAKE CITY — Following Monday’s winter weather across the state, road and traffic conditions remained potentially hazardous Tuesday. More of the same is expected throughout the week as Thanksgiving travelers prepare for their turkey pilgrimages.

A winter storm warning was issued for northern and most of western Utah starting at 4 a.m. Wednesday and lasting through Saturday morning, KSL meteorologist Grant Weyman said on Twitter. Valleys are expected to receive between 5-10 inches of snow, benches could get 8-18 inches, he said.

A winter storm watch was also issued for the eastern valleys, the National Weather Service said.

"The snow will essentially come in two waves ... one starting early (Wednesday), the other starting early Friday," Weyman said. The storm will also bring rain to the St. George area, he said.

Prior to the Tuesday morning commute, Utah Department of Transportation warned travelers to be prepared for icy roads throughout all of the Salt Lake, Ogden and Provo metro areas. Bridges, in particular, were expected to be very icy, the agency said.

Drivers planning to travel through mountain or canyon routes should be prepared for chain restrictions at any time Tuesday, UDOT said. Chain restrictions were in place Tuesday morning for both Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood canyons but had been lifted as of 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to UDOT.

In southern Utah, chains or four-wheel drive are required on state Route 143 from I-15 to Brian Head, according to UDOT. The road is closed from Brian Head to Mammoth Springs due to road weather.

In Wyoming, eastbound I-80 is closed from Evanston to Rock Springs, UDOT said. It is estimated to reopen about 4 p.m. U.S. Highway 191 is closed in both directions from I-80 to the Utah-Wyoming state line.

On Monday, U.S. Highway 89/91 in Sardine Canyon was closed for several hours between Brigham City and Wellsville due to a combination of snowy conditions and poor choices from drivers in the area, according to UHP.

“A lot of people in the public just didn’t pay attention this morning,” UHP Lt. Lee Perry said Monday. “We had the sign initially saying snow tires and chains required, and they drove into the canyon anyway. And then we put up the sign, closing the canyon, and people drove past the closed sign into the canyon.”

In addition to the several accidents and slide-offs, Perry said several semitrucks became stuck in the snow as well. Four large tow trucks were called in to pull them out.

Troopers investigated at least 270 crashes across the state on Monday.

Additionally, five troopers, most in their vehicles, were hit but not seriously injured while they were investigating crashes and Utah Highway Patrol released dashcam footage of two of those crashes on Tuesday.

The first video shows UHP Trooper Riley Rugg investigating an immoveable crash on northbound I-15 near 7200 South. His patrol SUV is then hit and pushed through traffic. According to UHP, two other cars lost control and spun through the crash scene, leading Rugg to jump over the barrier to safety.

The second video shows UHP Trooper Harrison Coy investigating a crash that blocked the HOV lane on southbound 1-15 at 14600 South. A car lost control and hit a van on scene, causing the vehicle to spin around and collide with Coy’s patrol car.

Coy was in the patrol car when it was impacted and suffered minor injuries.

Follow the KSL Traffic Center on Twitter @KSLTraffic for up-to-date information. More traffic updates are available from UDOT at udottraffic.utah.gov. Get the full weather forecast at ksl.com/weather.

This story will be updated with the latest traffic and weather information throughout the day.

Contributing: Mike Anderson, KSL TV; Xoel Cardenas, KSL.com

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