PROVO CANYON, Utah – The snow storm hitting the state has forced closures on major canyon roads such as Provo Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon.
UDOT confirmed an avalanche in Provo Canyon closed US-189 for westbound travelers only Friday afternoon as of about 4:40 PM.
WB US 189 at MP 12 (3 mi SE of Provo) Utah Co.
WB Closed. Expect delays.
— UDOT Traffic (@UDOTTRAFFIC) March 8, 2019
Those traveling Westbound were being diverted back the other way as crews try to clean up the mess left on the road.
As of about 5:15 P.M. crews closed off both directions of SR-92 to allow heavy equipment get to avalanche and clear the road. They believe it could take several hours still. So drivers will want to avoid heading through Provo Canyon.
UDOT Spokesman Zach Whitney says it came down near the same spot a different avalanche fell on the road earlier this year.
Both dir’s will have to close in order to have heavy equip get to avalanche & clear the road. We’ve been told this could take several hours & to avoid Hwy 189 Provo Canyon. Good Luck.
— Rikki Meece (@KSLRikki) March 9, 2019
KSL viewer Jared Isaacson sent in a picture and video showing snow covering much of the road.
Jared Isaacson sent this to us of the Provo Canyon WB Hwy 189 avalance.
He says he almost got hit by this avalanche while going to “fish in the blizzard”. Yikes! @kslnewsradio pic.twitter.com/KQ6D9u1qs0
— Rikki Meece (@KSLRikki) March 8, 2019
UHP said no one was injured in the slide.
That wasn’t the only place that had major traffic issues. Little Cottonwood Canyon was closed, twice.
— Michele Rowe (@KSLMichele) March 9, 2019
The first closure happened while UDOT crews did some avalanche control, and the second was sue to an actual avalanche that forced Alta Resort to interlodge residents in the Hllgate area.
“UDOT has been busy. The intensity of the storms this year has been challenging for them to perform their operations in the canyon,” according to Snowbird Resort Spokesman Brian Brown.
While the road closures have been inconvenient, Brown says they’re extremely happy with the amount of snow that has fallen on their slopes. Normally, 500 inches of total snowfall is considered a great ski season. By early Friday afternoon, they had 484 inches.
“We are way ahead of the game in terms of the total snowfall we get. With three weeks remaining in March, that puts us in the bullseye for storms. Typically, March is our snowiest month,” Brown says.
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