Winter storms wreaking havoc across northern Utah

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jan 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-23 19:50:20-05

Rain and snow across northern Utah are creating flooding, slippery roads and outages.

Winter storm warnings are in effect across northern and central Utah.

Little Cottonwood Canyon is closed until further notice because of an avalanche. Many canyons, including Big Cottonwood Canyon and Parley's Canyon, are restricted to 4x4s or chains. Snow tires are required on all vehicles. For more information on closures and restrictions, follow @UtahDOT on Twitter or visit

Joe Dougherty with the Utah Department of Public Safety warns drivers to be prepared before heading out, especially between Salt Lake County and Summit County. Drivers need snow tires, and many canyons are restricted to chains or 4x4s.

"People need to be prepared for this kind of winter driving," said Dougherty.

Dougherty says that there have been "too many slide-offs to count" across northern Utah as snow continues to fall. There have been 40 non-injury crashes, 14 slide-offs and 12 injury crashes in Salt Lake and Utah Counties thus far.

Summit County has been hardest hit, especially along US-40. Plows are constantly working to clear the roadway of snow and ice. Dougherty says troopers have been slammed with the number of slide-offs along the roadways. Drivers hoping to travel to the Sundance Film Festival need to be prepared for slippery roads or consider alternate routes.

For the latest information on road closures and restrictions, visit In addition, the Utah Department of Transportation has a mobile application that updates with road conditions, traffic accidents and other details concerning traffic that can be found at

The Utah Avalanche Center warns of extreme avalanche dangers in the backcountry. Craig Gordon with the Utah Avalanche Center released a video of a large human-triggered avalanche in the Uintah Mountains. To get the latest avalanche information, visit

Officials in Cache Valley encourage homeowners to visit their local fire department for sandbags instead of calling emergency personnel.

Rocky Mountain Power says that thousands of residents across the Salt Lake Valley are without power on Saturday afternoon. To see information on outages, visit