Winter weather, icy roads, colder temps creating treacherous driving conditions

Stock photo | St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Drivers traveling through the Black Ridge and northward on Interstate 15 are being asked to slow down and travel with caution Tuesday night and into early Wednesday morning as temperatures drop and roads become more icy.

“I would say anytime after midnight you’re going to get those 20 degree temperatures that will ice that highway over,” said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Steven Esplin.

The Black Ridge area is spotty with snow, Esplin said Tuesday evening, adding the danger for drivers becomes more apparent as the temperature drops and freezes moisture on the roadway.

“We say it so much that it’s almost cliche,” he said. “But people really just need to slow down and drive according to the weather conditions.”

Earlier Tuesday evening around 6 p.m. southbound lanes were temporarily closed near Beaver at Interstate 15 between milepost 115 and 121, due to a quick moving storm that passed through the region.

There were multiple slide-offs involving 10 cars and three semitrailers with one minor injury reported, said Utah Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Todd Royce.

According to the Utah Department of Highway Patrol’s website, the road was to remain closed until 7:22 p.m., but Royce said it was reopened by 8:36 p.m.

The roads stayed closed long enough for Utah Department of Transportation crews and snowplows to clear slush and ice from the roadway and for damaged vehicles to be moved, Esplin said.

Within a half hour the right lane between I-15 milepost 115 and 121 was opened, Utah Department of Transportation Region 4 Communications Manager Kevin Kitchen said, adding traffic would be backed up and people should drive according to road conditions.

“People may be getting spring fever and forgetting there is snow out there,” Kitchen said. “We were aware and so we had people in place to fight this, so I don’t think it’s a surprise to the people with Utah Department of Transportation.”

The National Weather Service stated that snow showers are likely before midnight between Beaver and Cedar City with an half-inch to an inch of accumulation.

Email: cmiller@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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