Full power expected to be restored at Sundance on Friday

Jan 3, 2023, 7:28 PM | Updated: 7:41 pm

SUNDANCE, Utah — Power restoration to Sundance Mountain Resort and surrounding homes is taking longer than expected after the latest storm dumped more than four feet of snow on the area.

“We think it’s in the several hundreds of trees now that have fallen in this canyon over the last 48 hours,” Chad Linebaugh, the resort’s president and general manager said.

The storm led to the closing of the ski resort on Sunday because of avalanche concerns then the power outage kept it closed again on Monday.

One lift operated on Tuesday using backup power for lodging guests and season pass holders.

Late Tuesday Rocky Mountain Power postponed a road closure planned for the evening on state Route 92 near Sundance. The company said to expect intermittent closures Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. as crews use a large crane to replace power poles.

Rocky Mountain Power is supplying power to the resort’s restaurants and buildings and nearby homes using a two-megawatt portable generator.

Repair crews on snowshoes were still working on Tuesday to complete their inspection of the power lines along state Route 92. The resort said late Tuesday that it discovered more damage and downed trees.

“At this point it isn’t anticipated we will have full power until late Friday,” a statement from Sundance said. “As a result Rocky Mountain Power will be bringing in another generator to provide additional power for canyon.”

The hope is that the additional generator will allow Sundance to operate additional lifts in the coming days, the statement said.

In the meantime, only Outlaw Express will operate on Wednesday. The resort will sell day tickets and stay open for night skiing.

Those traveling on SR-92 near Sundance should be prepared for delays and intermittent closures as crews use a large crane to replace power poles.

Once the poles are in place, Rocky Mountain Power said crews will then work to run new wires and restore power.

Sundance received 52 inches of snow from Friday to Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

“I don’t think I can think of a time that was such a huge heavy snowfall and this was the longest power outage I’ve lived through up here,” Sundance resident Trieste Wilde said. “But it’s exciting. It’s all been exciting.”

“We’re blessed with all this great snow,” Linebaugh said. “We need this moisture. Yes, it’s causing some challenges and complications but we’re understanding. We’re going to get through this.”

This winter’s string of snowstorms is keeping snow plow drivers especially busy and there is more on the way.

Over the past three and a half weeks, the plow operators who work the canyons had one day off, thanks to a break from the snow on Christmas.

It was a relatively slow day in the Cottonwood Canyons Tuesday as the snow paused for the afternoon.

“So yeah, it’s been super busy,” UDOT Cottonwood station supervisor Shawn Wright said. “A pretty big challenge for us, trying to get through traffic, getting the roads plowed out.”

He said it’s been especially challenging as roads closed for avalanche mitigation, including a major one last weekend.

“That’s pushed hundreds and hundreds of more cars through Big Cottonwood,” Wright explained.

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Full power expected to be restored at Sundance on Friday