Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

February 7, 2019
Storm buries Tooele Valley

More than a foot of snow causes school and business closures; commuters late for work 

A significant winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of Tooele County from Tuesday evening into Wednesday, disrupting commuters and causing numerous closures. 

The 24-hour snowfall total of 14.3 inches in Tooele City was the record for Feb. 6, shattering the previous record of 6.6 inches, set in 1986, according to the National Weather Service. The storm also brought .79 inches of precipitation, according to Ned Bevan, Tooele City weather observer for the National Weather Service.

The average snowfall in February is only 14.1 inches, while the average precipitation for the month is 1.33 inches, according to Bevan. He said it was the biggest snowfall of the weather year so far. 

A total of 15.5 inches of snow were recorded southeast of Tooele City, with 9 inches recorded in Stansbury Park, 8 inches in Stockton, and 4 inches in Vernon, according to the National Weather Service. In addition to wintry precipitation, a wind gust of 47 mph was recorded near Wendover Wednesday morning. 

The glut of snow resulted in the first snow closure day for the Tooele County School District since 2008, according to Marie Denson, communications director for the school district. Charter schools in Tooele County, including Bonneville Academy and Excelsior Academy, were also closed due to snow. 

Tooele County and Tooele City offices were also closed for the day due to the wintry weather and road conditions. The Tooele City Council meeting and Tooele County Planning Commission meetings scheduled for Wednesday evening were canceled due to the storm. 

Trash pickup in Tooele was also canceled on Wednesday, pushing the schedule back by one day. 

State government was also affected by the snow, with employees put on a four-hour delay, according to Utah Department of Public Safety. 

The disruption reached the federal level, as well. Only essential employees to “maintain life, health and safety” were required to report to Dugway Proving Ground due to additional snow and road conditions east of the installation. 

At Tooele Army Depot, the unscheduled leave policy was in place for employees due to the inclement weather. Under the unscheduled leave policy, employees are given leeway if they’re unavoidably delayed due to adverse weather conditions.  

As of Wednesday afternoon, Utah Highway Patrol responded to 410 crashes around the state. The accidents included an 11-car pile-up on southbound Interstate 15 at the Davis and Salt Lake County border, which closed the roadway for two hours. 

The Utah Department of Transportation identified a few crashes in Tooele County on the UDOT Traffic Twitter account during the storm. 

There was an accident on the right shoulder of state Route 36 near Stansbury Park reported at 6:32 a.m. and westbound Interstate 80 at mile post 27 around 4:16 a.m. and mile post 28 at 3:59 a.m., according to UDOT. The traffic signal at the intersection of Utah Avenue and Main Street also had problems around 3:41 a.m., and had to be temporarily treated as a four-way stop.

 

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