Clinton residents find fences knocked down after UDOT plows pass through
CLINTON, Utah — A few Clinton neighbors got an unfortunate New Year’s surprise from the snowstorm after they said Utah Department of Transportation plows tried to clear the snow just outside their neighborhood.
Residents in the area said they’re used to noise from 2000 West, which is a very busy road, but not the sound that Roger Andra’s son heard Sunday while out in their backyard that borders 2000 West.
“He was out here feeding the chickens. He heard them coming by and then looked up and saw them,” Andra said of what his son recounted to him. “And then all of a sudden, they went by and you hear a big smack or a crash.”
Andra explained that his son could see two UDOT plows staggered to clear snow as they drove southbound on 2000 West.
“I imagine it was like dominos, boom, boom, boom, boom, you know, as it hit. And it went the whole five properties down, so there’s damage all the way down,” Andra explained.
They believe the UDOT plow drivers weren’t aware that the snow they threw took out the vinyl panels and entire chunks of fencing of at least three neighbors on the west side of 2000 West, and one neighbor on the east side of the street.
Curtis Ridge, who lives next door to Andra, said his wife found their fence blown out and their yard exposed to the busy street.
“You’re just kind of frustrated,” he said. “It’s the holidays, and luckily we’re home and safe, but it’s more of a frustration of the inconvenience of the situation with heavy wet snow, and just the situation as to what happened.”
Even before talking to Andra, Ridge figured a snowplow had come by and flung the snow so hard that it went through the fence. The neighbor on the other side of Ridge had his entire fence taken down, including the posts.
They both expressed that they’ve never seen this happen in the 15+ years they’ve lived in their homes. They’re not sure if the plow drivers were going too fast or why the snow caused so much damage.
They contacted the police and UDOT, but because of the holiday Monday, didn’t hear back from UDOT.
UDOT public relations director John Gleason explained that they plan to reach out to the homeowners first thing Tuesday morning. From there, they’ll send out a risk management team to assess what happened, and if it is found to be their responsibility, they’ll take accountability.
“Our plow operators are out there trying to make the roads as safe as they can be, and even if it’s not intentional, if it’s our responsibility, that’s something that we want to make right,” Gleason said. “And we’ll work with the homeowners on the claims process and we’ll address it with them.”
He acknowledged that the uniqueness of the snowstorm can contribute to problems like that.
“Wet, heavy snow like this can cause a lot of damage, and we’ve seen it with trees toppling over, property damage,” Gleason said, referencing other issues people have seen with this particular storm.
Whatever’s to blame, if UDOT finds it’s their fault, Gleason said they’ll own it and make it right.
Andra and Ridge will be waiting for UDOT’s call.
“Hopefully we can come to a resolution quickly,” Ridge said.
“As long as they get it fixed,” Andra said.
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