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Troopers warn of 'dangerous conditions' after avalanche at Bridal Veil Falls

An avalanche at Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon on Tuesday.

An avalanche at Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon on Tuesday. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)


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PROVO CANYON — Troopers asked drivers to avoid stopping on the road near Bridal Veil Falls due to "dangerous conditions" created by an avalanche in Provo Canyon, and officials are warning of continued avalanches in the backcountry.

Vehicles were backed up Tuesday on state Route 189, in the canyon, while avalanche mitigation efforts were conducted.

"An avalanche has occurred at (Bridal Veil) Falls near SR 189 in Provo Canyon," the Utah Highway Patrol said in a tweet. "The Utah Highway Patrol is asking motorist(s) not to stop on the shoulder of the roadway at this location because it has caused some dangerous conditions."

The Utah Department of Transportation said no injuries were reported Tuesday. The avalanche stopped before reaching the highway, but is blocking Provo River Parkway, officials said.

The avalanche also blocked the Provo River, but Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff's Office said this does not mean there will be excess flooding down stream. The walkway at the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls sustained some damages and the area is closed to the public. Cannon said it is likely the area will be closed for the next few months.

The Utah Avalanche Center said avalanche risk for the Provo area mountains will remain high as more snow and wind are expected through 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The center also issued an avalanche watch for all of the backcountry, and warned that human-triggered and natural avalanches are likely. The north side of Little Cottonwood Canyon will be closed Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. This includes all terrain north of Little Cottonwood Creek, from Gate B to Grizzly Gulch — extending 100 feet over Twin Lakes Pass and 1000 meters into Big Cottonwood, officials said.

People should stay off of and out from under slopes steeper than 30 degrees until at least 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Due to winter weather and snow, schools delayed opening by two hours in Altamont and Tabiona, according to a Facebook post by the Duchesne County School District. After a power outage at Altamont High School and Altamont Elementary School prevented the schools from opening, the district said it planned to bus students "home where they are safe and warm."

Jordanelle State Park remained closed Tuesday afternoon while crews worked to clear the roads of snow. State Route 31 is also closed in Huntington Canyon to the Crandall Canyon Mine junction, according to the Emery County Sheriff's Office.

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Bridger Beal-Cvetko covers Utah politics, Salt Lake County communities and breaking news for KSL.com. He is a graduate of Utah Valley University.

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