SALT LAKE CITY -- It is a white Christmas in Utah.
A winter storm moved over much of the state on Monday, blanketing the Wasatch Front with snow and icing up roads. The Utah Highway Patrol spent the day responding to dozens of crashes, and Utah Dept. of Transportation plow drivers were working late into the night.
"It's been a busy day, plowing, repairing trucks that are broke, just trying to keep up with Mother Nature," said UDOT plow driver Stuart Wright.
At a UDOT maintenance shed, crews were quickly replacing worn out blades and other broken parts on snow plows before sending them out into the storm. Wright said some places would get plowed, only to have the snow quickly cover what they had just plowed.
The UHP reported 69 property damage crashes and nine personal injury crashes had occurred in Salt Lake County before 4 p.m. In Utah County, 22 property damage cases and four personal injury crashes were reported. Nine crashes were reported in Davis County.
Troopers urged caution on the roads, as the evening hours caused things to ice up. It was a plea echoed by truck driver Brian Burrell, who stopped to chain his semi tires on I-80 near Parley's Canyon.
"Slippery roads, a lot of people off the roads. People should slow down a little bit better, and everybody have a Merry Christmas," he said.
Wright expressed frustration at drivers in a hurry who tried to pass plows as they tried to clear the roads. He said it caused a number of crashes, and reminded drivers that the safest place to be is behind the plows.
"They try to pass us, and lose it in front of us and we gather 'em up," he chuckled.