Historic snowfall at SLC International Airport didn’t keep passengers away


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A historic snowfall Wednesday kept the Salt Lake City International Airport busy with crews working around the clock to clear roads and runways allowing passengers to get to their gates safely.

Almost 12 inches of snow fell, making it the snowiest day at the airport ever in the month of February.

The second snowiest Feb. 17 at Salt Lake City International Airport was in 1926 with 7.6 inches of snow.

Some passengers said they were prepared, but it still makes them anxious and upset when winter weather cancels or delays their flight.

“It’s one of those things when you live in a mountain state that you are prepared for,” said Salt Lake City International Airport Communications Director Nancy Volmer. “It’s a welcome to see the snow because I know we desperately need it here.”

The astonishing amount of snowfall came down in a hurry. The snow fell from midnight Feb. 17 through the morning.

“We saw chill temperatures and a lot of snow,” said passenger Mark Jay.

Mark Jay and his family and friends took a flight from their hometown of Detroit to Salt Lake City. It’s a tradition of theirs to go to Park City.

“It bums you out a little bit,” said Mark’s son Robert Jay.

“You certainly get a little anxious about it,” said Mark.

“I get a little flustered,” said passenger Patrick Bailey. 

Delays and cancellations can certainly ruin a day at the airport, but the Jay party said it is no big deal to them; it’s about adjusting.

However, on Wednesday there were more than 40 cancellations and delays.

“You don’t know what it’s going to do for the rest of your itinerary for the day and someone is picking us up here and they had to wait for us today because we’ve been a little bit delayed,” said Mark.

Volmer said there is no delay from the management crew when it comes to clearing runways and roadways.

“I think this particular snow was challenging because the snow came down so quickly and so fast so that really presents challenges, but we were able to get the airfield cleared and get passengers on their way,” said Volmer.

There were almost 1000 arrivals and departures combined today at Salt Lake International Airport. Volmer said there is no time to mess around. It’s all business when it snows.

The biggest snowfall total ever here was in 1908 when it snowed 14 inches in a single day.

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