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ROAD CLOSURES: Seperate avalanches forces closures on canyon roads

Provo Avalanche March 8, 2019. (Credit: Jared Isaacson)

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.

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.

KSL viewer Jared Isaacson sent in a picture and video showing snow covering much of the road.

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.

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.