SALT LAKE CITY — A record-breaking Utah snowstorm led to school closures and dangerous roads on Wednesday.
By midday Wednesday, the Salt Lake City International Airport had received 11.7 inches, which is the most snowfall ever for a single day in February, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.
The previous record for Feb. 17 snowfall was 7.6 inches, set in 1926, the weather service said. The previous highest snowfall total for a single day in February was 10.9 inches, set on Feb. 1, 1989.
Also Wednesday, the Salt Lake County Emergency Management department recommended that employers in the county let their employees work from home or offer a delayed start Wednesday, according to department spokesperson Tina Brown.
As the storm continues moving through the Wasatch Front, drivers are asked to be cautious due to dangerous road conditions. Here is a full list of closures, delays, traffic and weather.
Check back for more updates throughout the day.
- Canyons School District
- Layton Christian Academy — Grades 7-12 remote learning; Elementary students should come to school when they can
- Murray School District (with 2-hour delay)
- Realms of Inquiry Private School — Middle and high school virtual learning
- American Academy of Innovation
- American Heritage of South Jordan
- Blessed Sacrament Catholic School (Sandy)
- Carden Memorial (Salt Lake City)
- Intermountain Christian School (Salt Lake City)
- Judge Memorial (Salt Lake City)
- Juan Diego Catholic High School
- St. Francis Xavier School (Kearns)
- Waterford School (Sandy)
- Hawthorn Academy — Both South Jordan and West Jordan campuses starting at 10 a.m.
- Judge Memorial (Salt Lake City) — Starting at 10:30 a.m.
- Salt Lake Community College — All departments and in-person classes canceled until 12 p.m.
- Summit Academy and Summit High School (Draper) — Starting at 10 a.m.
- University of Utah — In-person classes canceled until 11 a.m.
- Westminster College — Campus closed until 12 p.m.
Delayed meal service
- Salt Lake City School District — Grab and Go meals served 30 minutes later than usual; Ensign Elementary and Indian Hills Elementary meal sites closed
The Utah Department of Transportation urged drivers to delay their travel on Wednesday until 10 a.m. due to road conditions. The Cottonwood canyons expect to see 20-25 inches, according to UDOT.
Several crashes and slide-offs have been reported already Wednesday morning along freeways in the Salt Lake Valley and speeds are significantly reduced, according to the KSL Traffic Center.
By noon Wednesday, the Utah Highway Patrol had investigated 188 crashes and slide-offs, the agency said. Since the latest round of winter storms began on Saturday, troopers have investigated a total of 659 crashes and slide-offs.
“Please slow down well below the posted speed limit on cold, wet, slushy and/or icy roadways,” UHP tweeted. “Increasing following distance beyond the required 2 seconds also gives you the added time and distance you may need to react.”
State Route 190 through Big Cottonwood Canyon closed again to uphill traffic for avalanche control just before 7 a.m. but reopened just after 8 a.m.
State Route 210 through Little Cottonwood Canyon will remain closed for the rest of the day Wednesday, UDOT said, and there is no estimated reopening time for Thursday. All driving restrictions have been lifted for Parleys Canyon in Salt Lake County and Sardine Canyon in Cache and Box Elder counties.
Chains or four-wheel drive are no longer required for vehicles in Sardine Canyon, but winter driving conditions still exist, according to Cache County emergency dispatchers. People driving in all canyons are asked to use caution due to the severe winter driving conditions, UDOT said.
🚧 #RoadClosureUpdate 🚧 #SR190 is now OPEN. Thanks for your patience, BCC travelers. Drive with caution, the #TractionLaw remains in effect. @UDOTTRAFFIC@SolitudeMTN@BrightonResort@UPDSLhttps://t.co/74uqAsM5Nspic.twitter.com/O7UVyc7QrT
— UDOT Cottonwood Canyons (@UDOTcottonwoods) February 17, 2021
Other closures include Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive in Zion National Park, which is also closed due to ice and snow.
A crash on southbound I-15 temporarily forced all traffic off the highway at 500 East in American Fork, according to UDOT, but the crash was cleared by 1:45 p.m.
At 9:30 a.m., UDOT reported at least 25 crashes over the previous hour as roads continue to be hazardous. The Utah Highway Patrol had fielded at least 315 emergency calls by 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, the agency said on Twitter.
People are asked to work from home if possible, and to slow down and wear a seat belt if they must drive, UHP said. People are also asked to make sure their tires are appropriate for snowy weather before heading out on the roads, the agency added.
Two UDOT workers on a Cottonwood canyons crew narrowly avoided being caught in an avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Wednesday, but both are safe, according to UDOT spokesperson John Gleason. The workers were preparing to get out of a UDOT truck to get into a snowcat when both vehicles got hit by a natural avalanche, Gleason said.
Today, two members of our Cottonwood Canyons team were staged in Little Cottonwood Canyon to assist with avalanche control. As they prepared to exit the UDOT utility truck for the snowcat, both vehicles were hit by a natural slide. We are grateful both team members are safe. pic.twitter.com/AGqx31WVsm
— John Gleason (@johnegleason) February 17, 2021
Salt Lake City International Airport crews worked to clear snow from the airport Wednesday morning, officials said. Passengers are asked to check with their airlines for delays or cancellations, and to plan extra travel time, airport officials said.
According to a tweet by Salt Lake City International Airport as of 2:30 p.m., 17 flights have been canceled, 71 have been delayed, 19 flights into the airport have been canceled, and 34 flights into SLC have been delayed.
All TRAX trains are running on their regular schedule Wednesday morning, but commuters should remember to plan extra time and dress for the cold weather, UDOT said.
All trains are currently running on schedule, but due to today’s conditions, remember to plan extra time for your commute and dress for the weather. For help planning your trip visit https://t.co/rO7OaY0chA, call 801-743-3882, or use the Transit app.
— UTA (@RideUTA) February 17, 2021
A winter storm warning will be in effect until around 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City. Mountainous areas could see up to 16 inches. Sandy is forecast to get 6 to 10 inches of snow and Salt Lake City could see up to 6 inches of snow.
— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) February 17, 2021
The Town of Alta’s maximum security interlodge order was lifted as of 11:22 a.m. but a standard interlodge order is still in effect, according to the Alta Town Marshal. People should still remain inside public or private buildings due to avalanche risk.
Snowbird Village is also under an interlodge order as of 1:15 p.m., according to resort officials. Snowbird will not be open for skiing or riding Wednesday.
The backcountry terrain closure for all areas north of Little Cottonwood Creek from Gate B to Grizzly Gulch has been extended due to extreme avalanche hazards, UDOT said. The closure extends 1,000 meters into Big Cottonwood Canyon and 100 feet over Twin Lakes Pass. It is estimated to reopen about 8 a.m. Thursday.
Avalanche danger is rated extreme for all aspects and elevations in the Salt Lake-area mountains Wednesday, according to the Utah Avalanche Center. People are urged to avoid being near or under any steep slopes.
Avalanche danger is rated high for all other Utah mountains, except the Abajos and Moab-area mountains in southeast Utah, where avalanche danger is rated considerable, according to the avalanche center.
COVID-19 vaccine appointments
All Salt Lake County COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Wednesday have been moved to Sunday, Feb. 21, at the same exact appointment times and locations as Wednesday. People who cannot make their new appointment date can call the Salt Lake County Health Department at 385-468-7468 to reschedule for another time.
Due to the winter storm forecast for tomorrow, Wed., Feb. 17, all COVID vaccine appointments scheduled for tomorrow at all SLCoHD vaccine sites have been moved to SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21, at the SAME TIME and LOCATION. pic.twitter.com/7JOqNLTQdO
— Salt Lake Health (@SaltLakeHealth) February 17, 2021
Several free rapid antigen test sites have canceled or delayed openings due to weather, according to the Utah Department of Health.
- Davis County: 5-C Freeport West, Clearfield
- Salt Lake County: Maverik Center, Lot D, 2050 W. 3100 South, West Valley City
- Salt Lake County: Cannon Health Building, 288 N. 1460 West, Salt Lake City, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register here.
- Sevier County: Central Utah Public Health Department, 70 Westview Drive, Richfield (drive-through). Wednesday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Register here.
- St. George: The Southwest Utah Public Health Department announced that due to the severe weather vaccines intended for tomorrow’s scheduled vaccinations that were supposed to arrive were delayed. The rescheduled vaccinations will occur at the St. George Active Life Center at 245 N. 200 W. The health departments ask those listed to arrive within their assigned time and bring a Feb. 18 confirmation along with ID, proof of local residency, and signed consent form. The Feb. 18 vaccine clinic has been rescheduled as follows: Last names A-G: Tuesday, Feb. 23 (A: Walk-in between 8:30-9:30 a.m.; B: 9:30-10:30 a.m.; C: 10:30-11:30 a.m.; D: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; E: 12:30-1:30 p.m.; F: 1:30-2:30 p.m.; G: 2:30-3:30 p.m.). Last names H-P: Thursday, Feb. 25 (H: Walk-in between 8:30-9:30 a.m.; I-J: 9:30-10:30 a.m.; K: 10:30-11:30 a.m.; L: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; M: 12:30-1:30 p.m.; N: 1:30-2:30 p.m.; O-P: 2:30-3:30 p.m.). Last names Q-Z: Saturday, Feb. 27 (Q-R: Walk-in between 8:30-9:30 a.m.; S: 9:30-10:30 a.m.; T: 10:30-11:30 a.m.; U-V: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; W-Z: 1:30-2:30 p.m. According to the department, appointments made for vaccine clinics on other dates should be unaffected.
- Weber County: The Weber-Morgan Health Department delayed all COVID-19 vaccination appointments scheduled for Feb. 18, to Monday, Feb. 22 due to weather delays that have delayed vaccine shipments. All appointment times and locations of the clinic will move to Monday at the same time and at the Dee Events Center on the campus of Weber State University.