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Freezing rain, snow expected to fall on northern Utah roads Thursday

WASATCH FRONT, Utah – A winter storm warning was issued for portions of northern Utah, and the warning begins at midnight and continues through Thursday evening.

FOX 13 News’ Gene Kennedy spoke with Utah Department of Transportation officials about the weather, and they said the nature of the storm may make it difficult to prepare ahead of time. See the video above for his live report.

The National Weather Service issued the warning for the northern Wasatch Front, Salt Lake and Tooele valleys, and the weather is expected to develop overnight Wednesday and last through Thursday—with the warning expiring at 8 p.m.

Slick, icy roads expected Tuesday night

SALT LAKE CITY — Motorists need to be on the lookout for icy, slick roads while traveling through the state Tuesday night, officials said.

With as cold as the storm is, spokesman John Gleason with Utah Department of Transportation, said any water on the roads is going to freeze.

Gleason said crews are focusing their efforts on central and southern Utah. The biggest concern Tuesday night is Interstate Highway 15 between Payson and Cedar City, Gleason said. Some sections in that area could see as much as a foot of snow.

“This storm is coming in extremely cold,” Gleason said. “The plows will be out throughout the evening into the morning until they’re (roads) clear.”

Other areas of concern are Parley’s Canyon, the Benches and the point of the mountain.

“We recommend, if you can, limit your travel in these areas,” Gleason said. “It will be extremely difficult and possibly dangerous.”

Winds bring dust, lake smell to SLC

SALT LAKE CITY — Wind gusts across Northern Utah are kicking up a lot of dust and creating hazy conditions.

Dusty conditions will likely continue along portions of the Wasatch Front through the evening, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service.

The winds are also dragging a strong sulfur smell from the Great Salt Lake, according dispatchers in Salt Lake City.

Twitter user @Steve_Rogo posted a picture loop of the weather moving in over the Bountiful Bench.

FOX 13′s Brett Benson said the loop shows a gust front moving in, which carried everything with it. The gust has passed, but scattered thunderstorms continue.

The smell will continue to inundate Salt Lake City while the winds come out of the north.

Heavy rains cause flooding in Sandy homes

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Heavy rains and even hail poured down on homes throughout Salt Lake County on Saturday, leaving some residents in Sandy under water.

“It just started coming in like a river,” said Angel Fitzgerald, who lives along 865 East 7985 South. She spent much of the evening pumping water out of her garage and throwing away damaged items.

Fitzgerald said: “It just came flooding in. We thought we could put down a towel or something, and it just wasn’t happening.”

Next door, her neighbor Kristi Gill was wading through the same problem.

“It’s frustrating,” she said.

The Gills are in the process of moving, and they had dozens of boxes packed with items in their garage.

“I had my husband trying to grab blankets to block the water from coming in, and really, you can’t do anything when there’s water just forcefully coming through your house,” Gill said.

Utahns take on record high temps

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday, breaking the previous record for the month of June, set back in the 1970s, and the heat is expected to stay for at least a few more days.

The high temperatures have the potential to cause a lot of problems and make small problems bigger.

There have already been a few fires near residences, including a five-acre brush fire in Alpine on Friday, and firefighters are worried that with the hot temperatures and fireworks being set off next week, they’ll run out of resources.

 

“Our crews are very busy and we ask the public to be careful with the fireworks and make sure that those are used in authorized areas,” said Lone Peak Fire Capt. Joe McRae.

Hot temperatures can mean more power outages as residents crank up the air conditioning.

Low water levels could lead to restrictions

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah could certainly use the recent rain storms to hit the state, but the precipitation doesn’t mean much when it comes to our water levels, which are below average.

Low levels mean farmers could have a tough time irrigating their crops this summer, and if it gets really bad it could mean water restrictions for residents.

Larry Dunn, the meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service, said, “It  seemed like a very cold harsh winter with a lot of snow, and that’s true if you lived in the valley.”

High above on the mountain tops the snow may have made for some great ski days, but that’s about it.

“These storms are really important, a cool wet spring could go a long ways toward alleviating the shortages that have come from this low snowpack,” Dunn said.

Weekend storm on its way out

Winter storms continued through Saturday, which caused several accidents, but the storm system appears to be on the way out.

A cold front came through Saturday morning, and snow fell through Saturday night, but the storm was mostly cleared away by Sunday afternoon. Another weaker storm system is expected to move into northern Utah on Monday night and into Tuesday.

The winter road conditions lead to several car crashes and slide-offs throughout the Wasatch Front on Saturday.

In Salt Lake County there were 63 incidents leading to property damage, 6 leading to personal injury, and 10 slide-offs. In Utah County there were 14 incidents that led to damage and one vehicle slide-off. In Davis County there were 10 accidents with property damage. In Weber County there were 15 accidents with damages.