OGDEN — All 105 snowplows with the Utah Department of Transportation’s Region One office responded Thursday to what officials are categorizing as “the biggest snowstorm of the season.”
The storm dropped 19 inches of snow in Liberty in the Ogden Valley, and nearly a foot along the northeast Ogden bench, according to National Weather Service officials.
Centerville in Davis County received 13.7 inches of snow Thursday.
“Between (Wednesday) and (Thursday) morning we handled five accidents that were all related to the weather conditions and going too fast,” Centerville Assistant Police Chief Paul Child said.
“We also assisted several slideoffs and people stuck in the snow. We assisted (the Utah Highway Patrol) on a couple of crashes on the freeway also,” he said.
But despite the most valiant efforts of the state’s snowplow drivers, Weber and Davis County police dispatch centers reported more than 80 vehicles had either slid off the road or been in a fender-bender since early Thursday.
Most of the slideoffs and accidents can be attributed to people traveling too fast for existing conditions or to the busy holiday traffic, an official said.
“We had every snowplow out that we had. This is one of those storms we get every year,” UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders said.
The state plows will continue to move snow until the motoring public is in good shape, Saunders said.
“We knew the storm was coming. But there was a lot of traffic out there due to the season,” Saunders said. “With all that traffic it’s difficult for the snowplows to get through. We can only go as fast as the traffic can go.”
Because of the slick, icy conditions beneath the surface of the snow, Saunders said, many vehicles spun off the road. He said he particularly noticed several in the Layton area along Antelope Drive.
Some of those accidents are a result of motorists traveling too fast for conditions, Saunders said. He would advise anyone traveling to make certain they are wearing their seat belts.
On Thursday, Davis County Sheriff’s dispatch reported responding to between 25 to 30 slideoffs, most of those earlier in the day, while Weber County dispatch responded to 58 accidents or slideoffs by noon.
“This is definitely the biggest storm of this season,” Saunders said.
For that reason UDOT officials are urging motorists to be patient with snowplow drivers. In Region One, which takes in most of the Top of Utah, snowplow drivers are responsible for 2,600 lane-miles of highway, Saunders said.
“That all has to be plowed," he said.
The National Weather Service reported that snow is to taper off for the remainder of the weekend, with a 20 percent chance of snow in the forecast for today.
The next big snowstorm is not expected to arrive until sometime next week, officials said.
The Utah Department of Public Safety worked nearly 90 accidents Thursday morning in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties. That included two semitrailers that jackknifed on Interstates 15 and 80, closing multiple lanes and bringing traffic to a crawl.
Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Todd Johnson said no one suffered life-threatening injuries. Most were caused by people driving too fast or not leaving enough space between cars.
“It’s usually just bumps and bruises,” Johnson said.
Some roads were closed or restricted to cars with four-wheel drive or chains.
The Utah Avalanche Center said there was considerable risk Thursday for mountains in Ogden, Salt Lake, Provo, the Skyline district and the Uintas. Logan mountains faced moderate risk for avalanches, the center said
The Associated Press contributed to this story.