WEATHER

Snowplows will be out in force to clear roads around Utah, UDOT says

Feb 21, 2023, 9:30 PM

A bill sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper (R-Taylorsville) would prohibit motorists from passing workin...

UDOT says snowplows will be out in force clearing the roads from snow left by the major winter storm that arrived in the state Tuesday afternoon. Photo credit: Paul Nelson.

SALT LAKE CITY — The major winter storm that plowed into the state on Tuesday afternoon is going to keep snowplows with the Utah Department of Transportation busy over the next several hours.

John Gleason, a spokesperson for UDOT, joined Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on Tuesday to discuss UDOT’s plans to counter the storm, and what drivers should do.

Caplan asked, “When you know it’s going to be snowing all night, like cats and dogs or whatever, is it worth it to spend the gas on running the plows right now and trying to scrape up that first measly inch?”

“Absolutely,” Gleason said. “Our plow crews are, they have been gearing up for this for the last couple of days. And it’s going to be a long night. We’re all prepared for that.”

Snowplows may have a challenge clearing Utah’s roads

Gleason admits the crews will be in some difficult situations during the course of the storm.

“They’re going to be out there,” he said. “But they have an uphill battle because the snow rates are going to be intense. And at times, it’s going to exceed one inch per hour, which makes it challenging to keep up.”

Caplan asked how many plows will be deployed along the Wasatch Front?

Gleason says there are 550 snowplows throughout the state, with roughly 200 being along the Wasatch Front. 

“This is a statewide storm,” Gleason said. “So, throughout the next day or two, there’s a good chance that most of those plows will be deployed.”

A driver’s shift

Caplan asked how long of shifts will the plow drivers be working.

“We’ve had plenty of time to rest up in preparation for this storm,” Gleason said. “And we’ll switch people out as necessary.”

But Gleason acknowledges this is one of those storms that will require a full effort by the crews. 

What to do if you are around snowplows in Utah?

Caplan asks if you are on I-15 and you see a plow is behind you, what are you supposed to do?

Gleason says the plows are typically going slow enough that the cars behind them will be impacted more than the vehicles in front of them.

“But if you’re behind the plow crews,” Gleason said. “Make sure whatever you’re doing, you’re not passing, give them room to work.”

Gleason says if you are out on the roads during a storm, the safest place to be is roughly 200 feet behind the plows. 

 

Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News can be heard on weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

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Snowplows will be out in force to clear roads around Utah, UDOT says