WEATHER

Spring Storm Of Rain, Snow Causes Headache For Drivers On Utah Roads

Mar 20, 2021, 10:09 PM | Updated: 11:06 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — On the first day of Spring, Utahns saw record numbers of much-needed rain, but it caused some headaches for drivers, especially those in the canyons where that rain was snow.

Road crews were also busy in the valleys after the rain wiped out a tractor trailer near the I-15 and I-215 ramp.

“So just taking that ramp with the weather, the rain and everything, he hydroplaned and the semi tipped over,” said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Mikki Vargas.

The semi-driver wasn’t the only one. By 7 p.m., troopers counted 57 weather-related crashes statewide.

“We had a lot of standing water all over the freeways today, people just driving too fast over those puddles of water and they’re hydroplaning, hitting walls, hitting other cars,” said Vargas.

Utah Department of Transportation officials said one of the slickest areas was the west side of Salt Lake County.

“We had some trouble spots on I-215 and I-80, the interchange by the airport,” said UDOT spokesperson John Gleason. “We saw a number of slide offs in that area.”

On Bangerter Highway, swampy conditions flooded a lane near the construction zone for the new freeway interchange on 10400 South.

“We had some storm drains that were clogged out there,” said Gleason.

And up in the canyons, the Winter Wonderland turned into a headache for some drivers as multiple slides offs backed up traffic.

“The bulk of the impacts were in the higher elevations, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon,” said Gleason.

Many of the accidents, troopers said, were preventable with some good tires and patience.

“You should just slow it down so you can control your vehicle if it does hydroplane for whatever reason,” said Vargas.

Little Cottonwood Canyon will close beginning at midnight Saturday for avalanche mitigation. Officials said they hope to reopen the area by 8 a.m. Sunday.

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Spring Storm Of Rain, Snow Causes Headache For Drivers On Utah Roads