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Utahns dealing with aftereffects of heavy snowfall

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 04, 2023

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — With storms this past week and more coming – people are seeing the effects on their homes and in the street.

Paige Slaymaker lives in Eagle Mountain and was driving with her daughters when snow on the top of the truck in front of her flew onto her car.

“A huge snowman size piece of snow landed on my windshield and completely shattered it,” said Slaymaker. “A lot was going through my mind, I was really freaked out.”

Now, it’s costing her over $300 to repair her windshield.

“Just clean off your cars - it’s so so dangerous to be driving with snow on your cars, on your hood,” emphasized Slaymaker.

There’s no rule in Utah to brush snow off the top of your vehicle, just the windshield and windows so you can see. But the Utah Highway Patrol said that if the snow is a danger to the public, you can be pulled over.

“There’s no way I would be able to slow down in time – so I was like, I’m going to hit it," she said.

There was traffic behind her and the emergency lane was filled with snow, so she couldn’t move over lanes either.

Another thing to be careful with this time of the year is trees or branches falling – like what happened to Draper resident Tom Hasleton.

“I got a text from my neighbor saying he heard a large crash in our backyard,” said Hasleton.

The family built their home around this hundred-year-old tree, had it inspected a year ago for damages and nothing was wrong. But with the weight of the snow this past week, a branch fell no one was hurt, but they did catch it on camera.

“Be cautious especially when there is a heavy wet snow like we had,” said Hasleton. “It was crazy, I think it was the weight of the snow and rain that just saturated the bark.”

But they are thankful that no one was hurt.

“Had that happened during the day or another time when someone was out there, it could have been pretty bad. So we’re super fortunate that nothing happened and no one was around.”

According to Utah State University arborist Rachel Broadbent, one recommendation to help mitigate damage in the future would be to pay attention to your trees before walking around underneath them.

"Walking around, paying attention to your trees, looking for things like that – is there a giant crack, is there a cavity in it, is there decay, those structural defects,” said Broadbent. “Sometimes it may not look as good, but one of the branches or trunks can be removed, so that tension can be removed. And sometimes, full removal is the only option.”