SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of calls came in to the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as a winter storm dropped several inches in the valley and more than a foot in the mountains.
Since the storm began on Saturday, UHP received over 650 reports of crashes and slide-offs statewide.
UHP reported over 300 calls since midnight, and urged people to work at home if possible. Drivers are also cautioned to wear a seatbelt, slow down, and check their tires before heading out on the roads.
We are up to 315 calls since midnight in Salt Lake County. If you can work from home please do so, if you must go out slow down and wear your seatbelt. Be sure to check your tires before you make the decision to get on the roadways. pic.twitter.com/RJvHwcE6kM— Utah Highway Patrol (@UTHighwayPatrol) February 17, 2021
Even though Utah is well prepared to handle winter weather, unlike the Southern states now experiencing rare snow and ice in their regions, the storm led to many cancellations and closures to avoid accidents on the roads.
We’re seeing quite a few slide offs and accidents this morning. This is on I-80 between 5600 W and 7200W . This truck was towing a car out of the ditch. pic.twitter.com/rRHRCLbfNP— Lexie Johnson (@lexie_news) February 17, 2021
According to the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), heavy snow along the I-15 corridor will make commuting hazardous, especially in the Farmington and Centerville area. UDOT issued a warning to stay off the roads if possible in the morning, and exercise caution to stay safe as they work to clear the roads.
UDOT is reporting over 25 accidents per hour Wednesday morning, underscoring the need to stay off the roads unless necessary and allow considerable distance between vehicles while driving. Among the accidents was a 10-car accident with a semi-trailer truck that was cleared this morning on I-15 in American Fork; fortunately, no injuries were reported.
Wednesday's storm is expected to taper off by midday, with a new storm front coming in by Friday, bringing a mix of rain and snow.