Winter Storm Takes Aim at Wasatch Front

Winter Storm Takes Aim at Wasatch Front

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Sandra Yi reportingA major winter storm takes aim at the Wasatch Front. Flakes are already falling in the canyons, and they'll continue to fall all weekend long.

Crews with the department of transportation are gearing up for what is likely to be a long couple of days. Round two of the storm is expected to hit hard.

Avalanche experts have a warning: be careful, in the backcountry.

Bruce Tremper Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center: "We haven't seen this much weight of snow since christmas. So if there's any weak layers out there, this new weight is going to find it and there's going to be some very big avalanches this weekend, we're guessing."

In December, three young snowboarders died when a slide cut loose in Provo Canyon. And just yesterday, another avalanche in Empire Canyon, near Park City, proved to be deadly. A Texas man was buried and killed.

Bruce Tremper: "It was down low, right behind one of the mine buildings, in a little narrow gully in what we call a terrain trap. Sounds like the avalanche wasn't particularly large. He just triggered a small avalanche that comes into a very small gully and fills it up very deeply."

Crews will be blasting the ski slopes with cannons this weekend.

For those hitting the road, the snow and rain could make conditions slick.

Last night, the storm wreaked havoc. The Department of Transportation had its full force, out on the roads. It's prepared again, for another busy night.

Inside the traffic operation center, a meteorologist is keeping track of pavement temperatures. Snowplow drivers go out when the temperatures dip. They pretreat the roads, to keep the rain and snow from sticking.

Niles Easton, UDOT: "So we've got some tricks in our toolbox that we can pull out to try to maintain. Just keep it slushier went than turning into actual snow."

UDOT says this season has been the wettest in recent years but there's plenty of salt.

One more note, UDOT is urging recreation seekers to stay away from Provo Canyon and the River.

The avalanche risk is high and it may close the area in the morning.

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