Avalanche temporarily strands more than 1,000 people at popular Utah ski area
The Utah Avalanche Center reports new snowfall has increased the dangers of avalanches. Many mountains in northern and central Utah are under a heightened alert for the risks.
SALT LAKE CITY – A shelter-in-place order is no longer in effect after an avalanche temporarily stranded more than 1,000 people around the town of Alta on Friday afternoon, but authorities warned the danger of additional slides was far from over in northern Utah.
The Utah Department of Transportation announced the closure of the main thoroughfare into and out of Snowbird and Alta after an avalanche blocked a large section of the state route.
Video from along State Route 210 showed crews working to mitigate the threat of additional avalanches and clean up debris.
State transportation crews estimated that the slide was at least 15 feet deep and 300 feet wide.
DANGERS OF AVALANCHES, AND HOW TO STAY SAFE ON THE SLOPES
Authorities reported the route was reopened late Friday, but UDOT was planning for additional closures into the weekend to continue avalanche mitigation.
The Utah Avalanche Center had cautioned about the increased dangers in northern and central parts of the state due to recent snowfall.
The center warned that mid- and higher elevations in the Provo region were subject to considerable avalanche danger. Increased elevations from Salt Lake City northward were under a high threat due to winds and additional snowfall.
There were no initial reports of injuries or damage associated with Friday’s avalanche.