Provo Canyon remains closed as of 10:30 a.m. Friday morning after an avalanche cascaded across all of U.S. Highway 189’s lanes around 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening.
Utah Highway Patrol tweeted that no cars and people were caught or buried in the slide, though in some areas the snow is 10 to 15 feet deep. A correction issued later changed the number to closer to 30 feet.
We've had an avalanche at MM 12 on SR-189 in Provo Cyn. The canyon is currently closed. Reports are that it is 10'-15' deep in some spots on the roadway. It is covering all the lanes. No persons or vehicles were caught in the avalanche. Cleanup will take hours.
— Utah Highway Patrol (@UTHighwayPatrol) January 18, 2019
The Utah Department of Traffic triggered the avalanche while doing control efforts up Provo Canyon. The road was already closed at the time, according to the Utah Department of Traffic’s Twitter account.
This morning, crews are using two track hoes and four loaders to clear the wall of snowfall from the road. Authorities are unsure when the canyon will reopen and are suggesting drivers use Provo Canyon Road as an alternative.
UDOT crews using 2 track hoes, 4 loaders to clear the avalanche at U.S. 189 in Provo Canyon. pic.twitter.com/wmChevTy0A
— UDOT Region Three (@UDOTRegionthree) January 18, 2019
The Utah Highway Patrol reported a rock slide in American Fork Canyon that occurred around the same time as the avalanche and slid across Route 92. Officials said the incident was caused by heavy rain and unrelated to the Provo Canyon avalanche.