WEATHER

Avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon pushes car off road

Jan 13, 2020, 10:14 AM | Updated: Jan 14, 2020, 12:18 pm
avalanche in little cottonwood canyon...
An avalanche pushed a car off the road Sunday in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

COTTONWOOD CANYONS, Utah — An avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon pushed a car off the road Sunday.

The slide was around 300 feet long and two feet deep. No one in the car had injuries. But it led to hours of backups and more closures for avalanche control work.

Jim Kane was just ahead of the slide.

“It seemed like we were covered and it seemed like forever that it was happening. The windshield fogged, so I was trying to get it cleared. The wipers were going to clear off the snow,” he said. “I thought back on it like, I just drove away from a catastrophe.”

Brothers Pete and Sam Pelletier were just behind it. It happened about a mile from the first entrance of Snowbird.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I saw this huge snow cloud, and I immediately knew that it was an avalanche coming down. I slammed on the brakes,” Sam said.

They say people ran to help the five people in the SUV.

UDOT says they were out Sunday morning setting off bombs hoping to prevent an avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon before it happened.

“We have a team of experts that were out there all morning long for about three, three-and-a-half hours doing the avalanche control work,” explains spokesman John Gleason. “We fired extra rounds because we were concerned that the conditions were prime for a slide.”

Nonetheless, he says sometimes these things are inevitable and it’s fortunate that no one got hurt.

While Kane says it’s a reminder to be careful.

“’Those signs are for somebody else, not for us,’ you know? ‘It’s going to happen to somebody else, not us.’ It happened to us today,” said Kane.

Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons were closed until around 8 Monday morning in order for crews to do some additional avalanche mitigation work.

They’re reminding drivers to proceed with extreme caution in the canyons since they’ve already reported multiple vehicles sliding off the roads after they re-opened.

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Avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon pushes car off road