"Perfect storm" hampers UDOT and commuters

Snow plows struggle to clear roads

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) - Drivers saw the impact of a "perfect storm" that made for treacherous conditions Thursday morning.

"What we saw this morning was pretty much a perfect storm situation," said UDOT spokesperson Lisa Miller.

Drivers felt the consequences of mother nature's wallop.  Despite snow plows on the roads, it didn't seem to help.  Snow packed, icy conditions made for a scary drive this morning.

"(It was) scary," said Ciara Hardy. "I was going 30 (mph). I drive from Layton to North Salt Lake and it was 30 the whole time."

According to UDOT here's what happened.
UDOT officials said rain washed away a pre-treatment that prevents icing.
And then they said mother nature handed UDOT another unforeseen blow.

"That combined with a cold front coming in and very cold air and road temperatures made for some ice on the road," said Miller.

And it led to a high number of accidents.
Since this storm rolled in, the Utah Highway Patrol reported 230 accidents stretching from Box Elder to Utah County.
UDOT said salting roads in frigid conditions is a difficult battle.  Even at two in the afternoon along a stretch of Davis County, the interstate was still snow packed.

"What they're doing right now is actually using more chemical solution and putting down more salt to break through that ice layer that's on the roadway," said Miller.

That means snow plows are doubling the amounts of salt they spread on the roads and with temperatures rising, UDOT said the roads should be back to normal, for a few days at least.

"We're going to get a break in the pattern over the next couple of days," said Jeff Williams, UDOT's weather operations manager. "But we're looking at a couple of more storms coming in, into the weekend for the mountains and possibly for the valleys early next week."

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