As spring runoff begins, UHP says to expect more rockslides

Mar 15, 2023, 9:00 PM | Updated: Apr 7, 2023, 5:03 pm

Cedar City rockslide...

Rockslides and avalanches have closed several roads in Utah over the last few weeks. The Utah Highway Patroln says as snow begins to melt more rocksldies may occur. Photo credit: Utah Highway Patrol.

SALT LAKE CITY — Several roads and highways around the state have been closed in the past couple of weeks because of avalanches and rockslides.

According to Sgt. Cameron Roden, of the Utah Highway Patrol, SR-191 in eastern Utah near the Wyoming border has been one of them.

“There was a report of some rockslides down towards the Carbon County area where that was causing a compounding effect with a crash that’s blocking milepost 22 on SR-6,” Roden said. “Just eliminating one of the routes for people to use as an alternative.”

However, Roden says the rockslide wasn’t as bad as anticipated, so vehicles are now able to use SR-191. 

Roden also says SR-191 still has a lot of snow, and plows haven’t been able to reach to get there because of the blocking crash.

“They have stated that four-wheel drive and chains are required for that roadway right now in that area,” he said. 

More rockslides will likely occur as dryer conditions set in

As snow begins to melt over the next little while, Roden says additional rockslides are likely to occur.

“Over the next little while with the runoff starting and stuff. We do experience a lot of rockslides and things like that,” he said. “So those things are something to be watching out for, especially when you’re traveling in those canyon areas.”

Roden offers advice to drivers.

“The biggest thing is attention,” he said. “If it’s a multi-lane road and change lanes to get away from that to give yourself a little bit of space. That’s always helpful. But that’s why driving requires your attention and not being distracted by other things that are going on inside the vehicle.”

Roden says motorists should always check the Utah Department of Transportation website to check for any closures. 


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

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As spring runoff begins, UHP says to expect more rockslides