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Little Cottonwood Canyon closed indefinitely, trains back on schedule amid Utah storm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Snow slammed the Wasatch Front on Monday, picked up again Wednesday and turned the commute treacherous on Thursday morning.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers have investigated 157 crashes across Utah as of 10:30 a.m., the agency reported. Drivers should expect to encounter ice on bridges and overpasses, and should delay travel or work from home if possible, UHP said.

Little Cottonwood Canyon is closed indefinitely for avalanche control work, the Utah Department of Transportation tweeted.

Officials were allowing essential traffic to travel up the canyon, but fully cut off access about 9:45 a.m., UDOT said. The time the canyon will open to the public is to be determined.

Alta Ski Area in Little Cottonwood Canyon announced they will not be opening Thursday amid the ongoing canyon closure.

Traction laws are in effect for Big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake County.

A backcountry avalanche warning also is now in effect for the mountains of northern Utah, including the Wasatch Mountains, Bear River range and western Uinta mountains, according to the Utah Avalanche Center.

The warning went into effect at 1 p.m. Thursday and continues through 6 a.m. Saturday.

The KSL Traffic Center reports icy freeways throughout the Wasatch Front, with snow falling from the Idaho border to Santaquin. Motorists can expect to reach speeds not over 50 miles per hour on freeways Thursday morning, the traffic center said.

The Utah Department of Transportation and UHP ask that people with flexible work or school schedules delay travel if possible Thursday morning. Snowplows are out but slide-offs are still an issue, said UDOT spokesman John Gleason.

"This storm is impacting Salt Lake County's roads worse than expected," UHP tweeted Thursday morning. "If you're out driving, please bring your speed to a crawl and give room to 1st responders."

Delays were affecting FrontRunner and TRAX trains on Thursday morning, Utah Transit Authority said. by 3 p.m., all trains were back to their normal schedules. Residual delays of up to 10 minutes are possible as trains get back on schedule, UTA said.

The Juab School District had considered canceling classes Thursday but a morning Facebook post said all classes will be held as normal. Classes are canceled at Capitol Hill Academy in Salt Lake CIty. will keep you updated with a running list of closures today.

A winter weather advisory was in effect Thursday for the Salt Lake and Tooele Valleys, including Logan, Smithfield, Brigham City, Ogden, Bountiful, Salt Lake City, Tooele, Lehi, Provo, Nephi, Wendover and Snowville.

That advisory was canceled about 3:45 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

Another winter weather advisory is still active for the mountains in northern and central Utah until 4 p.m. on Friday.

Total snow accumulations of 10-20 inches are expected, in addition to high wind gusts upwards of 55 mph.

Blowing snow could impact visibility in impacted areas, making travel difficult, the advisory states.

Thursday morning's snow showers will continue in the mountains and snow will turn into rain showers in the valleys, according to NWS. Snow and rainfall will slow throughout the day but continue into Friday morning.

High wind warnings were also issued for parts of Utah and remain through 4 p.m. Friday. Wind warnings were issued near Evanston, Duchesne and Price.

Traffic updates can be found on KSL NewsRadio and at More traffic information is available at UDOT's commuterlink website,

Forecasts for the rest of the state can be found on the KSL Weather page.

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Lauren Bennett is a reporter with who covers Utah’s religious community and the growing tech sector in the Beehive State.


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