Departing storm, cold temps contribute to 117 accidents
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The weekend's three-day snowstorm dropped as much as 18 inches of snow in areas along the Wasatch Front contributing to more than 100 accidents.
The Utah Highway Patrol reported 117 accidents between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon in Davis, Weber, Utah and Salt Lake counties as snowfall and icy roads plagued drivers over the weekend.
In Salt Lake County 71 crashes were reported with 17 injuries, Davis County tallied 37 accidents with five injuries, Utah County reported seven accidents with two injuries and Weber County saw two accidents with two injuries.
UHP troopers urged drivers headed into winter storm areas to slow down, maintain a safe following distance and stay alert.
They also reminded Utahns of a new law requiring drivers in fender-bender accidents to move off the freeway when possible in hopes of increasing safety for accident victims and responding officers.
"Getting the crash out off the freeway, away from traffic, makes it safer for the parties involved in the crash, the trooper responding, and all other traffic on the freeway," a UHP spokesman said in a release Sunday.
KSL meterologist Lynae Miyer reported the season's first major winter storm dropped considerable snow on areas around the Great Salt Lake while other areas of state didn't see any snowfall. As much as 17 inches fell in the upper Avenues and other parts of Salt Lake County while areas in Davis County such as Centerville recorded 18 inches of snow.
In the Wasatch Mountains, ski resorts added to their snowpacks with about 46 inches of new snow recorded at Snowbird and Alta. About 35 inches fell in Big Cottonwood Canyon while Provo Canyon recorded 10 inches of new snow.
As the storm retreated a wave of cold temperatures dropped in behind it pulling overnight lows into the teens in northern Utah.
Temperatures are expected to slowly climb throughout the week with highs passing 50 degrees by Thursday and headed into the weekend. A 20 percent chance of rain is in the forecast for Saturday.
The National Weather Service reported record lows in some far-flung parts of the state Saturday. Milford's new record low is 4 degrees, passing the 1935 record of 6 degrees, while Bullfrog dropped to 26 degrees, beating the 1975 record of 19 degrees. Capitol Reef National Park tied its record low 22 degrees, set in 2000.
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