Storm targets Salt Lake County

Outages, 153 crashes are reported in valley

Published: Sunday, Dec. 9 2007 12:37 a.m. MST

Snow-capped peaks of the Wasatch range tower above a ski lift at Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday.

Mike Terry, Deseret Morning News

Enlarge photo»

Utility and public safety officials said Salt Lake County was the "bull's-eye" of the snowstorm that hit Friday night through Saturday morning, bringing with it numerous power outages and traffic accidents.

The storm delivered 7 to 8.5 inches in the valley and between 21 to 36 inches of snow in the mountains, according to the National Weather Service.

Slick roads hampered motorists traveling to and from work and to events Friday night and Saturday morning. According to the Utah Highway Patrol, numerous accidents were reported along the Wasatch Front, with 55 reported in Utah County and 11 in Weber County, but the majority of them occurred in Salt Lake County, where 153 accidents were reported as of 9 p.m. Saturday.

UHP Sgt. Ted Tingey said most of the accidents were minor with few injuries and no fatalities. The

Highway Patrol credits the lack of fatal accidents to swift action by Utah Department of Transportation snowplow drivers.

The thick and heavy snow also brought a wave of power outages, with some customers being in the dark for up to 12 hours, but with most power restored within a few hours.

Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen said the company had a total of 18,000 customers without power at any given time Friday and Saturday, with crews working through the night and all day Saturday to restore power.

While outages were reported in various areas, Eskelsen said Salt Lake County was the bull's-eye of the storm.

Eskelsen said some crews were sent home to get some rest but anticipated crews would be working well into this morning to restore power to all customers.

Forecasters report that the storm is in the process of moving out of the area and should clear up by Monday.


E-mail: gfattah@desnews.com

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