Winter storm socks northern Utah, snarls traffic, closes 2 schools

Published: Thursday, Oct. 25 2012 5:11 p.m. MDT

Cameron Haynes shovels snow at his home at Summit Park, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. He moved from Washington, D.C., three months ago and is looking forward to winter sports.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Heavy snow is nothing new for Morgan School District Superintendent Ken Adams and his staff. But he admitted Thursday morning's storm took everyone a bit by surprise.

"You've seen snow early before. It's pretty unusual to get this much," he said.

A big winter storm blasted through northern Utah Thursday, creating hazardous driving conditions and forcing two school closures. Mountain Green Elementary and Morgan Elementary were closed because heavy snowfall was preventing teachers and students from getting to class.

"Teachers couldn't get to school. Buses were having an extremely difficult time getting up the hills in the Mountain Green area. The roads were so congested, I couldn't get my buses in and out," Adams said.

Just about the time buses picked up Morgan High School students, the snow started falling heavily. It took some high school students an hour to get to school, Adams said. By the time the buses were scheduled to pick up the elementary school students, I-84 was closed.

"The conditions just got so it wasn't safe," he said.

Officers shut down I-84 from the mouth of Weber Canyon to Morgan due to heavy snow. Heavy snow also forced the closure of Ogden Canyon for about an hour due to multiple crashes, according to the Weber County Sheriff's Office.

The morning commute into Salt Lake and Utah counties was also slowed by multiple accidents on the freeways.

Just before 10 a.m., a four-car accident, including a jackknifed semitrailer, occurred on southbound I-15 near Lindon. No serious injuries were reported. Crashes involving multiple vehicles and rollovers were also reported Tuesday morning on I-215 at 700 North and I-215 at 6200 South.

In Salt Lake and Utah counties, the Utah Highway Patrol responded to 38 accidents, including nine that involved injuries, from midnight until 10:45 a.m.

About 6:30 a.m., a car collided with a TRAX train at 300 West and South Temple. A woman was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the Wasatch and western Uinta mountains throughout the day Thursday.

Despite the heavy snow, Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Adan Carrillo said plow drivers were prepared.

"We've been tracking the storm for several days, so we knew what we were up against," he said. "These guys have been waiting for this for quite some time now."

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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