‘Never expected it’: Snowstorm in Parley’s Canyon takes drivers by surprise

Northern Utah News

SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC4) – A snowstorm made its way through Parley’s Canyon Wednesday, but not without causing issues.

Several cars, trucks, and semis were stuck while the Utah Department of Transportation cleared the roads.

UDOT says it was prepared for this storm, even though drivers may not have been.

The storm in Parley’s Canyon had a personality of its own with snow, hail, rain, and wind all combining to make for messy conditions.

However, as soon as the storm made its way through, UDOT went to work and so did Mother Nature, melting the snow and evaporating the rain.

“It was completely unexpected,” says David Hoggan.

Hoggan and his family took the drive from outside of Sacramento to Mt. Aire Canyon for vacation. It is something he said they try do monthly.

The snow caught them off guard.

“We had been watching the weather for several weeks and we knew were going to get some cold weather and even some rain, but we never expected four to six inches of snow,” says Hoggan.

UDOT says its drivers were out and about very early Wednesday morning,

“They’re pretty much at the ready,” says UDOT Travel Information Manager Lisa Miller. “We had up to three inches of snow an hour in Parley’s Canyon for a period of the day today which caused some pretty significant delays.”

The delays meant trouble for anyone on the road, especially semi-trucks. Many of them stuck in the chain-up area near exit 131.

Within hours, it was night and day how Parley’s Canyon looked.

It went from wintry weather to an almost normal spring day.

“There really isn’t a 9-5 shift when it comes to being a plow driver, so it takes a very dedicated kind of crew,” says Miller.

That crew was able to help Hoggan and his family enjoy their time together.

“There was zero snow going up this canyon,” says Hoggan. “I bet it was very little snow or zero snow all the way up those roads.”

Hoggan says he’s thankful for UDOT because this is what he said when ABC 4 asked as a Californian how he learned to drive in the snow.

“We haven’t,” says Hoggan. “We’re the people Utahns talk badly about when we are driving.”

UDOT says it will be monitoring the roads throughout Wednesday evening because of wet conditions.

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