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Winter storm forces crashes, power outages in Utah County

January 22, 2019
Footprints are left in the snow near the Provo City Center Temple on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, in Provo.

Commuters faced rough roads and residents across the county went without power for a time Monday, as a heavy winter storm hit the area.

The storm hit Monday morning before the early commute and continued to fall along the Wasatch Front through Monday afternoon, causing problems with the morning and afternoon commutes.

The Utah Highway Patrol reported Monday that statewide the agency responded to 209 crashes as of 5 p.m.. UHP urged drivers to slow down on the roads, especially as temperatures drop and roads become icy.

The area was under a Winter Storm Warning throughout the day Monday, ending at 9 p.m. The storm was expected to bring between 4 and 8 inches in the valleys along the Wasatch Front, and the National Weather Service estimated as much as 24 inches was expected in the mountain areas by Tuesday morning. According to the National Weather Service, though the heavy snowfall had mostly stopped in the valley areas by mid-afternoon, snowfall was still expected to continue in the mountains and east benches through the night and into Tuesday.

The National Weather Service reported in its 5 p.m. update that Saratoga Springs recorded 6 inches of snow, Spanish Fork recorded 4.5 inches of snowfall Orem had 2 inches and Payson recorded 1.5 inches. In Salt Lake County, Sandy recorded 18 inches and Cottonwood Heights had 11.5 inches. Full snowfall counts for mountain areas were not immediately available.

Snow-covered roads were reported throughout the day Monday in Provo Canyon. According to the Utah Department of Transportation, chains or 4x4 are required for all vehicles driving through Provo Canyon.

A large-scale power outage was reported by Rocky Mountain Power Monday morning for parts of Draper, Bluffdale and Lehi, impacting approximately 12,000 customers, including many homes and businesses in the Traverse Mountain area. According to Rocky Mountain Power, the outage was caused by a loss of transmission in the area.

Rocky Mountain Power said power was restored to that area at 10:43 a.m., but that scattered outages were reported statewide due to weather. In Orem, more than 1400 customers were reportedly without power mid-day Monday.

Tuesday’s forecast calls for cold temperatures with a high of 30 degrees in Provo. There is a slight chance of more snow again Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

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