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UDOT preparing for biggest canyon storm in two years

Snowy conditions slows the speed limit on I-80 near the mouth of Parleys Canyon in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – UDOT crews are bracing for what they’re calling the biggest canyon storm in the last two years.

The agency’s meteorologists predict as much as two feet of snow in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons over the next few days. Roadway Operations Manager for the Cottonwood Canyons Jake Brown says people need to remember a combination of 4-wheel drive, snow tires, and chains are a must.

“We want people to be prepared when they come in the canyons and they experience that kind of weather,” said Brown. “We don’t want them to shy away from it, but we want them to be prepared.”

He says even if you are not comfortable with your car making it through the canyon, the park and ride is a good option or use the bus. You can expect plenty of skiers and snowboarders trying to take advantage of the new snow. Brown says just don’t be the person that stops traffic.

“When traffic slows, the plows slow,” Brown said. “So it’s a domino-effect that effects everybody in the canyon and then the delays get longer, longer as they try to leave or try to get up to the resorts because we have people who are not prepared to drive in these conditions.”

There may be more cars on the road too and not just because of the snow, but because of the holiday weekend as well.