Big winter storm slams Utah, in a random way

Another storm is expected to roll in Friday with a 30% chance of snow.
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As Utahns from Wendover to Vernal and Tremonton to St. George finished digging out from Tuesday's major snowstorm, the skies cleared and temperatures began to fall.

The next two days will be cold. The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 19 and a low of 5 degrees in Salt Lake City today and only slightly higher Thursday. St. George will be just a little warmer, with highs near 40 today.

This week's cold snap has strained electricity supplies in the Mountain West, putting the region at risk of power outages, said Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Jeff Hymas.

Rocky Mountain Power is urging all customers to resist overusing electricity while cold temperatures persist.

Another weaker storm is slated to move into northern Utah later this week, with a 30 percent chance of snow Friday. St. George will see a 30 percent chance of rain on Thursday.

The surprise, and probably the biggest disappointment about Tuesday's storm for Wasatch Front skiers is that it was relatively stingy in the northern mountains. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Alta had 9 inches, and the Brighton Crest at 9,500 feet reported 12 inches.

But Deer Valley added 13 inches and Provo Canyon was pounded with 23 inches of snow.

Southern Utah's Brian Head resort near Cedar City received 18 inches, which could allow it to open much of its mountain by the weekend.

The storm left most of its moisture in southern and central Utah, with New Harmony, south of Cedar City, reporting 18 inches, and Levan, south of Nephi, getting hit with 19 inches.

"It snowed all day yesterday and let up at 8:30 a.m. [Tuesday]," said Angie Eva at the Country Junction store in Levan. "It was a heavy snowstorm for us. A lot of people are pushing snow. People are stopping here and taking a break. Business has been pretty good."

At Ernie's Truck Plaza in Beaver, Lisa Bezanson said the problem was more cold than snow. But she said truckers were telling her it was taking them an extra hour to get from St. George to Beaver.

In the Cedar City area, about 2,000 customers of Garkane Energy Cooperative Inc. lost power when heavy snows downed power lines, toppled trees onto lines and caused pole fires.

The Grand County School District saw a rare snow day for students in the Moab area, which reported 8 inches of snow in town and up to a foot in some outlying areas.

"I was born and raised in this district and this is the first snow day I can remember in 25 years," said Robert Farnsworth, the school district's interim business administrator. "We got hit really hard and the roads were bad so we made a decision to call it."

A reporting station called Camp Jackson in the Abajo Mountains near Monticello reported 29 inches of snow, and there was about 15 inches in town.

"It took me 45 minutes to dig out," said Tracy Wick, a secretary at the San Juan County offices in Monticello, of her Tuesday morning.

In Utah and Salt Lake counties, the UHP responded to 173 property damage crashes, 20 minor injury crashes and 25 slide-offs between midnight and 2 p.m.

Snow totals in the Salt Lake Valley were larger in many places than in the foothills as the storm picked up moisture over the Great Salt Lake.

And that was good news for some people.

"We have phones ringing off the hook right now," said Nicole Kay of South Jordan's Mower Medic, where there was a two-week wait to get snowblowers repaired. "It snows and people think 'I better take my snowblower out' and then of course it doesn't work."

Ski resort update

Utah Transit Authority spokesman Gerry Carpenter said ski buses will begin operations for the season Sunday in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Brighton will open for night skiing on Monday. Sundance is scheduled to open Friday and, since Provo Canyon received more snow than the Cottonwood Canyons, conditions there should be among the state's best with a base of 24 inches.

Ski resort update

Utah Transit Authority spokesman Gerry Carpenter said ski buses will begin operations for the season Sunday in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. Brighton will open Monday for night skiing. Sundance is scheduled to open Friday and conditions at Provo Canyon should be among the state's best with a base of 24 inches. Find more snowfall totals. A4

Online Images from the storm

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