Storm blankets St. George in rare covering of snow

Posted at 8:40 PM, Dec 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-04 22:40:43-05

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Wednesday morning a blanket of snow covered the red rocks of St George, the first winter storm to hit the southern Utah town this year.

Several inches of snow fell overnight. As the sun came up, much of it melted, but people were still able to have some fun, and it did cause some problems for early morning commuters, mostly because the city doesn’t own a snowplow.

“We don’t see it very often, so when it does snow in St. George, slow down, take your time,” said St. George police sergeant Sam Despain. “You have to get used to it. And when you don’t drive in it very often, you forget.”

Despain said the snow played a factor in seven accidents from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Several other cars slid off the road. No injuries were reported. The snowy roads also caused problems for school buses trying to get kids to school. But despite the difficult driving conditions, the Washington County School District held classes.

“We had sent information out to all of our administrators letting them know that schools would be open,” said WCSD assistant superintendent Richard Holmes. “But that it would be a slow go, to work with students and to excuse them.”

Even though students didn’t get a snow day, many still found ways to enjoy the white stuff. The mood at Vernon Park was a bit more jolly as kids gathered to build snowmen. After all, it’s not every day St. George gets to break out the snow gear.

“I’m really glad that there’s snow,” said Dixie High School junior Cody Chepa. “It’s something nice to see down here, especially when you get those long, hot summers. So, it’s a miracle.”

A lot of people are confused, and they’re busy and don’t have time for this,” said Cedar City resident Mara Lee. “But it’s really beautiful to stop and look at it because it doesn’t happen here very often.”

Police put out a reminder to drivers to take care and slow down, especially during night time hours, as water will re-freeze and once again cause slick roads.