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SNOW FACTS

Scattered areas of rain or snow statewide forecast for Thursday night and Friday. No major storm expected. Mountains could get 3 to 5 inches of snow.

Salt Lake City Library officials are planning to set up a bookmobile to serve patrons of the Chapman Branch, 577 S. 900 West, which was closed Wednesday morning after a part of its roof collapsed under the weight of snow.Library Director Dennis Day said some of the best structural engineers in the country are being consulted in efforts to save the historic structure. If it can be restored, the work will proceed "very aggressively," Day added.

In the meantime, officials will look for a larger temporary facility to replace the bookmobile, which is on loan from the Utah State Library.

The recent heavy snows could produce more potholes this spring, but the Utah Department of Transportation says it's prepared.

Salt does little harm to roads, and plow blades only rarely scar the surfaces. The biggest problem is when water from melting snow gets into road cracks and these expand and contract during freeze/thaw cycles, creating potholes and other problems, according to UDOT spokesman Kim Morris.

"There could be some areas where motorists see more potholes," Morris said. "On the other hand, we've been real aggressive in crack sealing activities."

City officials are reminding residents that it's illegal to park on the streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. from Nov. 1 through March 31. The existing law will be enforced, particularly with the huge accumulation of snow the area recently received.

City officials also have asked that people help dig out fire hydrants and warn children to stay out of the piles of snow along curbs. Street crews have reported several near misses of youngsters who were tunneling or making snow forts.

The Utah National Guard worked through the night Wednesday to clear 3500 South from 3600 West to 4400 West.

That section of road is a critical corridor for Utah's second-largest city, providing access to a hospital, care facilities for the elderly, ambulance routes and a major business zone. Crews hauled the snow to the West Valley City Park.

Assistant City Manager Karen S. Leftwich said the Guard units have established the following priority schedule for the city: 3500 South from Redwood Road to 2700 West, serving the freeway ramps, government building and commercial center; 3500 South from 2700 West to 3600 West, serving two schools and a medical center; 5600 West from 3500 South to 4700 South, serving Hunter High, the Bacchus area, a fire station and power substation; and 4100 South from Redwood Road to 2700 West.

Draper was still struggling Thursday morning to catch up on plowing the town's many private lanes leading to homes in the rural community. The City Council was set to convene Thursday to declare a state of emergency, opening the door to help from the county and the Utah National Guard.

One of the city's three snowplows was broken down, slowing snow-removal service. City Manager David C. Campbell said townspeople heaved a sigh of relief when a storm forecast for Wednesday failed to materialize.

The National Guard as of Thursday morning hadn't responded to a request by Midvale for snow-removal help, but Mayor Everett Dahl said the city's swift move to hire private contractors to handle the problem was paying off.

Dahl said among the most critical areas were Main Street and Sixth Avenue, which had snow piled deep on each side of the streets. He said the city was doing much of its large-scale snow removal at night in busy areas. Among the next big tasks facing crews was moving snow from the corner of intersections.

"We've spent a lot of money on salt and snow," said Mayor Lynn Pett, who declared an emergency on Monday.

On Wednesday, the city's plea for National Guard help was answered when Guardsmen showed up to clear mountains of snow blocking sidewalks along State Street near Murray junior and senior high schools.

For only the third time in a decade, Park City on Wednesday night hauled away snow from Park Avenue and Main Street, where it created a parking snarl. Transportation Director Kay Draper said the town's major snow-storage area was something of a spectacle, with snow pushed into a pile three to four stories high.

Sandy didn't ask for National Guard help partly out of concerns that Guardsman unfamiliar with local terrain might damage landscape and infrastructure fixtures such as fire hydrants and wouldn't have been liable for it.

Sandy Mayor Larry Smith said the city was managing well enough by itself anyway, though some residents of dead-ends and cul-de-sacs were "frustrated and angry" at the pileup on their streets.

The city's full complement of 19 pieces of heavy machinery has been in action and Public Works crews have been backed up by crews from the water and parks departments. Missionaries from the Salt Lake LDS Mission "turned their scriptures in for snow shovels," according to a city news release, to help uncover some 3,200 Sandy fire hydrants buried in snow.

The city issued a plea for citizens to pitch in and help with the hydrant uncovering. Residents can call 561-6743 for information on where hydrants in their neighborhood are located.

Mayor Eldon Farnsworth said the city is asking citizens to help clear sidewalks because municipal workers have their hands full clearing streets. He said South Salt Lake is still within its street maintenance budget this year, but that it might have to reappropriate money before the winter's over.