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Snow expected in the canyons for a couple more days

Nov 8, 2022, 5:20 PM | Updated: Nov 9, 2022, 2:30 pm

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – Tuesday was a rainy election day in the valleys, but snow fell in the canyons much of the day.

Snowplow drivers in the Cottonwood Canyons planned to clear snow for a couple of days.

The Utah Department of Transportation plows started in the Cottonwood Canyons around 5 a.m. Tuesday, according to Shawn Wright, UDOT supervisor for the area.

That’s when the snow started to fall about halfway up the canyons, and it’s been coming down in waves ever since.

“When the fronts started coming through the intensity really picked up,” Wright said.

He said there was about 1.5″ of snow up top when they started. But the snow picked up pretty quickly, and the traction law went into effect. By midday, there was nearly a half foot of fresh snow, with as much as 2′ more on the way.

A shovel tractor scoops salt at the UDOT shed near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. (KSL TV)

“They’re expecting two to three feet,” Wright said. “We’ll continue to plow up till about 9 o’clock and then we pull out of the canyons for the night.”

The supervisor said plowing will resume in the morning. By that time plows could be clearing snow in the valleys, too.

“We’ll be plowing 36, 48 hours in shifts until it’s all cleaned up, and then we’ll do it all over again,” he said. “It’s that time of year. We can expect snow at any time now, as we all know.”

When the traction law is in effect in the canyons be prepared with four-wheel drive or chains and tires with adequate tread.

Storm brings threat of avalances

With the added snow, the storm is bringing elevated avalanche hazards for the Wasatch and Logan area mountains. 

Craig Gordon with the Utah Avalanche Center said, “This big storm is a huge wallop to our early-season snowpack.”

Gordon added he has already started to see some naturally occurring avalanches.

To keep up to date with weather conditions, you’re encouraged to visit the Avalanche Center here.

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Snow expected in the canyons for a couple more days