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Salt Lake tire shops busy ahead of snow storm

Posted at 9:58 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 23:58:17-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Drivers are bracing for the expected snowstorm Saturday — especially those who have yet to swap out to their winter tires on their vehicles.

People have been able to skate by without worrying too much about their tires. This season has been, for the most part, dry so far.

On Friday, many customers swung by to Burt Brothers Tire and Services just in time.

Sugar House store manager Jimmy Torgerson said they saw a lot more traffic.

"All day: 'It's a must. Like, I have to get this done today,'" he said of what customers have told him. "We've even had people offer to pay us an expedited fee — which we don't charge — you know. We get it done."

They're even taking in customers from their Park City shops, he explained, because the wait up in the ski town is a few weeks out.

UDOT has also been preparing for the weather to change this weekend.

"Our plow crews are rested up, they're ready to go, and they're ready for an active night and really an active couple of weeks here as we're looking at storm after storm on the horizon," said John Gleason, Utah Department of Transportation spokesman.

He said they expect the areas farther south to get hit harder, such as the Cove Fort area where I-70 meets I-15. He cautioned drivers heading south on I-15 to plan ahead and make preparations.

Gleason urged drivers to get their car, truck or SUV ready if they haven't already. He said that includes checking for proper tread on tires and stocking up the car with extra supplies in case of an emergency.

"It may not look like we're getting a lot of snow," he said. "But because of the inversion and the cold temperatures, any precipitation that we see on our roads could instantly freeze and that could create some extremely slick conditions."

Burt Brothers often sees the end results of bad tires on slick roads.

"That's where we're seeing a lot of the accidents, is people aren't inspecting their tires and they're not being told that they are bad," he said. "So even the all-season tires, they need to be on there as well. They need to be checked out periodically."

It may be almost mid-December, but Torgerson said it's still not too late to get the right tires. They expected to be busy again Saturday as people make the tire switch after the storm and the rush picks back up.

"It is weird, because ... you don't see the typical weather that, you know, we have seen throughout the normal years. But yeah, it's been pretty dry. So we're due," Torgerson said. "It's coming."