Snow wreaks havoc across state, curbs travel in St. George
Ben Winslow, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Snowstorms Saturday evening caused more than 100 crashes across the state, and also stopped planes, buses and some automobiles in the St. George area.
The St. George Municipal Airport was closed at 6:30 p.m. Saturday after receiving a rare 3 inches of snowfall, airport operations supervisor Brad Kitchen said. The closure affected one flight and was expected to extend through noon Sunday, but that plows were out Saturday night working to get runways cleared.
"If we can get everything plowed off cleared off then we will be able to open up (sooner)," Kitchen said, adding that the decision whether or not to fly will be up to the pilots. "In the morning they'll meet with our operations and decide whether we open or not."
Those with plans to travel in or out of the airport should contact their airline for updates, Kitchen said.
St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said city streets were "packed and covered in slush, ice and snow" and he advised residents to stay home and avoiding driving unless absolutely necessary. SunTran bus service was also stopped for the evening and would remain closed indefinitely until the roads could be cleared.
There were also reports that some LDS Church services scheduled for Sunday were cancelled in parts of St. George. Members in the area were advised to check with their church leaders for more information.
The weather conditions led to an accident on southbound I-15 that closed both lanes between Cedar City and St. George, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lawrence Hopper said. Around 6:30 p.m. a semitrailer jackknifed on the roadway.
No one was injured in the crash, but it closed all southbound travel lanes for at least two hours.
Hopper said that by 7 p.m. there had been 154 crashes causing some kind of property damage in Utah, Davis and Weber counties, as well as in southern Utah. There were 14 crashes that caused injuries.
"The most severe was a broken knee," Hopper said.
He he had not yet received crash numbers from Salt Lake County late Saturday night.
He advised motorists to slow down, wear their seat belts and give themselves plenty of following distance between other vehicles.
Temperatures are expected to stay at 34 degrees and below statewide Sunday, according to the KSL Weather Center. The forecasted high for Salt Lake is just 20 degrees Sunday while temperatures in St. George could go as high as 34 degrees and as low as 20 degrees.
More snow is expected in Salt Lake, Ogden, Provo, Park City and Logan Sunday. Temperatures are forecasted to stay 32 degrees and below through Monday before slowly climbing throughout next week.
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