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Avalanche
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Avalanche near Vivian Park closes Provo Canyon

Photo courtesy of Steven Breinholt / KSL TV.

PROVO CANYON — Crews triggered an avalanche Thursday night in a closed stretch of Provo Canyon.  The Canyon was closed around 6 p.m. before about 30 feet of snow piled up across all lanes near Vivian Park.  No one was hurt.  Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason says it’s better to do this avalanche control work pre-planned for safety’s sake than take a chance this week’s heavy snows could trigger an avalanche, unplanned, with ski resorts full of people.

“It speaks to the fact that this is a very fluid situation now with a lot of snow coming down in the canyon and mountain areas,” says Gleason. ” This storm’s really taking aim at our mountains, one of the biggest storms we’ve seen in the last two seasons.”

It’s 30 feet deep in spots.

 

“The best result right now, given the fact that this could have all come down onto cars when the road was open had we not done the control work,” said Gleason.

He says they have had people clearing the snow as fast as possible.

For now, drivers have to go around using SR 40 and I-80. Some traffic is getting by on Old Canyon Road, or the lower diversion.

Gleason also says Little Cottonwood Canyon would be closed overnight Thursday into Friday morning, likely through at least 8 a.m., maybe longer depending on conditions.

Provo avalanche clean-up

Clean-up teams work to clear out the snow from the avalanche.. (Photo: Steven Breinholt / KSL TV)

UDOT has no estimated time of clearence but they have crews working as quickly as they can.