Snow piled up in Utah Thursday as storms continued to move across most of the state, complicating life for drivers and law enforcement agencies.
One of scores of accidents reported throughout the valley involved a highway patrol trooper whose patrol car was hit while she and a motorist were inside filling out reports of an earlier accident.The car in which Trooper Jody Dahl and a motorist were sitting was hit on eastbound U-201 (21st South) at 35th West Wednesday afternoon. Both were treated at Pioneer Valley Hospital and released.
Meanwhile, another storm is expected to move in Thursday night over northern Utah, which should produce another 2 feet in Salt Lake area ski resorts and 2 to 4 inches in the valleys, said William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service.
Even St. George received light snow Wednesday.
Freeways and other roadways were icy throughout the night, despite long hours of work by road crews, but no major accidents were reported early Thursday to the Highway Patrol, Salt Lake Police and the Salt Lake and Weber county sheriff's offices.
Wednesday was an entirely different story, however, as police agencies responded to about 200 accidents.
"We've got either the world's stupidest drivers or a helluva good snowstorm," Sgt. W.L. Cox said.
Salt Lake officers responded to 117 accidents from 11 a.m., when the storm moved in, through 9 p.m., said Sgt. Scott Folsom, the department's investigating sergeant in the traffic division.
Utah Highway Patrol troopers handled 60 traffic accident calls during the same period, including five personal injury accidents.
Three crashes in about a 2-mile stretch of 21st South, from 35th West to 54th West, had troopers hopping and traffic crawling. No one was seriously injured in the Wednesday collisions, said Trooper Julia Clayton.
Patrol troopers were investigating an accident with possible injuries at 21st South and 66th West at 6:55 a.m. Thursday.
Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Shupe's four-wheel drive vehicle was partially buried in an avalanche in the early morning darkness Thursday on the Powder Mountain Road near Powder Mountain ski resort. Shupe was in the vehicle but was not injured.
Shupe told law enforcement officials he wasn't worried about the avalanche until his headlights disappeared.
The Utah Avalanche Forecast Center issued an avalanche warning for the Salt Lake and Park City mountains.
While snowstorms are causing considerable grief for motorists and others, the moisture is delighting ski resort owners and operators.
In a 30-hour period ending at 5 a.m. Thursday, Alta received 32 inches of new snow; Beaver Mountain, 16 inches; Brian Head, 11; Brighton, 25; Deer Valley, 14; Elk Meadows, 14; Nordic Valley, 26; Park City, 24; Park West, 20; Powder Mountain, 32; Snow Basin, 24; Snowbird, 28; Solitude, 24; and Sundance, 20 inches.
Alder said it should begin snowing by early Thursday evening over the mountains and in the Salt Lake Valley by midnight.