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Snow snarls traffic, excites winter sport enthusiasts


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WASATCH FRONT -- The Salt Lake Valley didn't get a lot of snow Monday, but it was enough to create problems for the morning commute. Snow, slush and ice stalled drivers in their tracks.

A messy Monday morning commute

Accidents clogged Interstate 15 at the north and south ends. A four-car smash-up near 3900 South blocked traffic. Troopers said a car was driving too fast, lost control, and flew across all lanes, hitting another car.

After that, a third car spun out of control. Jonathan Hanson's Volkswagon Bug ended up underneath a Nissan. He's lucky his windshield held up.

"I tried to steer out of it, but it just rear-ended it and put the car on top of my car," Hanson said. "[It's] upsetting to see a car that I put a lot of time and money into go to waste; but overall, everyone is OK, and that's the most important thing."

Meanwhile, drivers near the south end of the valley inched along when an accident shut down two lanes near 10600 South. A pickup truck lost control, swerved, and slammed into a bus full of LDS missionaries on their way to the airport.

The driver went to the hospital as a precaution. No one on the bus was injured. Troopers say a mix of slick roads and bald tires caused the crash.

"I hope people will take the time to check their tires, air pressures, and slow down and increase their following distance," said UHP Trooper Chris Cox.

Troopers also caution drivers to slow down, give yourself enough time to get to where you need to go, and do not follow too close.

"After Saturday, people should be aware by now, it's a seasonal thing that we come to expect," said UHP Sgt. Jason Hunter.

In Utah County between midnight and 2:30 p.m. Monday there were nine accidents with property damage, one with a minor injury and 10 slide-offs reported. In Salt Lake County there were 18 property damage accidents, four with a minor injury, and six slide-offs.

Skiers, snowboarders welcome storm

That might not make drivers happy, but it certainly makes the skiers happy. The Lift House Ski Shop is all abuzz about the white stuff.

"Everybody is talking about how much snow is going to be in the mountains, how much snow we're expecting out of the storm," said Luke Larsen, master boot fitter at the Lift House. "Everybody who comes in here loves the snow."

Whether you're heading up to the resorts or just down the street, the Utah Highway Patrol hopes you'll do so slowly and safely.

"Even though the roads may seem clear, especially over the structures, we have that cool air that goes underneath; and those structures will freeze, whereas on either side of the structure it may be perfectly fine to drive on," Hunter warned.

More snow on its way

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for parts of northern, central and southern Utah.

By Tuesday afternoon, up to 8 inches of snow is expected along the southern Wasatch Front with totals reaching up to 14 inches in the Alpine and Heber areas.

In the central Utah valleys, up to 10 inches of snow is expected with totals of up to 15 inches along the Interstate 15 corridor.

Two to 3 feet of snow is expected in central and southern Utah's mountains, with local amounts of up to 4 feet in the southern mountains.

The National Weather Service also is forecasting strong winds that may make driving difficult.

Get more details on the KSL weather page.

Get traffic and weather updates on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM.

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Story compiled with contributions from Jennifer Stagg, Anne Forester and the Associated Press.

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