County declares snow emergency for some neighborhoods
April 6, 2010
An emergency was declared for Summit Park and Pinebrook and plow operators were in high gear Tuesday afternoon as heavy snow pounded the West Side of Summit County.
"We’re dealing with two to three feet of snow in some areas. We’re trying to get the roads open but it is very challenging right now to keep up with the amount of snow that has been coming down," Summit County Public Works Administrator Kevin Callahan said. "We’ve had guys over there since late last night and they’re working as hard as they can on it."
Cars had several inches of snow piled on top of them when residents in the Park City area woke Tuesday morning. More than two feet of snow fell near Jupiter Peak during the latest storm, according to the National Weather Service.
"We’re working hard to clean it up," Callahan said. "We’ve had trees drop down on the road and we’re asking people not to go in or out of [Pinebrook or Summit Park] unless they have to."
On Tuesday, the eye of the storm was planted over Parleys Summit, he said.
"It’s just sitting there and it’s dropping everything right there," Callahan said in a telephone interview. "If that continues, we’re going to face this for quite a while."
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The heavy snowfall and wind forced many vehicles to slide off roads in Summit County. But there were no serious injuries reported as a result of any traffic crashes in the Park City area as of Tuesday afternoon, the authorities said.
"There have been a couple of minor-injury accidents but those patients certainly don’t have any life-threatening injuries," said Detective Ron Bridge, a spokesman for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Several times Monday night the storm forced the closure of Interstate 80 near Jeremy Ranch, he said.
"It was closed on and off during the evening and during the late-night hours," Bridge said. "Obviously, Parleys is difficult to plow. Once you have too many semis or cars that can’t make it up to the top, it stops traffic altogether and the plows can’t get through. That is the reason for closing Parleys."
In Park City, the snow had begun tapering off by mid-morning and no traffic accidents were reported during rush hour on Tuesday morning. The Park City Public Works Department reported no complaints about snowplows by mid-morning on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, avalanche danger in Summit County was high. Slide forecasters asked skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers who do not have excellent rescue and route-finding skills to avoid the backcountry.
The snow and winds created a recipe for disaster in the mountains. A slide killed a man who was snowmobiling in Morgan County on Sunday.
The avalanche that killed the Wasatch Front man occurred near Francis Peak, according to a report from the Utah Avalanche Center.
The Utah Avalanche Center forecasts slide advisories daily for the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains at (888) 999-4019 or http://www.utahavalanchecenter.org.