SALT LAKE CITY — El Nino came here on Wednesday, dumping up to 26 inches of snow on the foothills, closing schools, tying up highways and shutting down the airport.
Heavy storms also hit Wyoming, where Interstate 80, the main east-west route through the state, was closed from Laramie to Cheyenne.
Salt Lake City International Airport was closed for more than six hours, its longest stretch in 28 years. The airport received 19 inches of snow by Wednesday afternoon, a record total for a 24-hour period, according to meteorologist Barry Nielsen.
The storm hit Salt Lake City as President Clinton, his wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea, planned a long weekend in Park City, Utah, for Chelsea's 18th birthday.
A presidential advance team charged with making the logistical arrangements for the trip was delayed getting to Salt Lake City because of the storm.
Most public schools remained open in the Salt Lake City area, prompting angry phone calls from parents who were worried about their children getting to school.
Private schools canceled classes.
The storm is the same system that drenched Southern California earlier this week, the National Weather Service said.