Snow, hail and strong winds create problems across Utah

Posted at 9:21 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 23:21:19-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- From snow to hail to wind and rain, Utahns have seen a month’s worth of weather Thursday.

The severe weather caused damage in the Salt Lake Valley, frustration on the slopes, and headaches on the road.

In Tooele, hail and the snow blanketed the city in white, creating a slushy mess on the roads.

“It's bad,” one resident told FOX 13. “I'm driving in second gear, so I’m not sliding all over.”

Before the snow hit, though, high winds knocked down trees and power lines across town.

Some of the worst damage was done at the cemetery, where 40-foot trees were completely uprooted. City officials said it may take up to a week to clean up the damage across the city.

Gusts of wind also created a mess in Salt Lake City, blowing over scaffolding on Foothill Drive. Just before 4 a.m., the scaffolding collapsed at a building under construction.

And, at Salt Lake City International Airport, incoming flights were forced to land in other cities because of the weather. Seven flights in total were diverted. Five were sent to Boise, one went to Las Vegas and another diverted to Provo.

There were power outages in several places, and at one point as many as 12,000 customers were reported to be without power. By later Thursday, that number had been reduced to just above 2,300--according to Rocky Mountain Power.

For people on the ground, there were backups, traffic jams and slide offs. Westbound I-80 in Parleys Canyon came to a complete standstill after several cars stalled, turning the freeway into something resembling a parking lot for several hours.

Several ski resorts were forced to shut down their lifts early. Solitude, Cherry Peak, Sundance and Powder Mountain all shut down due to the wind, while others were forced to shut down some of their lifts.