Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Surprise Snowstorm

A forecast for 1-3 inches of snow turned into a wind driven 4-6 inches of snow. The snow began quietly at 8am, but picked up in intensity by 10am. By 12pm, 3 inches of snow was on the ground. Over the next two hours, the snow continued to fall and the winds began to increase. Winds were blowing out of the west northwest at 10-15mph with gusts up to 25mph. The temperature was beginning to drop too. At 12:10pm the temperature was 25F, but currently the temperature is 12F. This made the snow very light and fluffy allowing the winds to blow it around quite a bit and drift. Drifts around the house are about 2 feet deep.
Franklin County Schools posted a 90 minute early dismissal around noon. However, once buses arrived at the schools, conditions had deteriorated so much that the administration decided not to dismiss students until county road crews had a chance to plow roads. Listening to the bus frequency (463.650Mhz) on my scanner, I heard that Mt. Carmel school was dismissed once all buses arrived at the school. However, students at other schools were not dismissed. I heard the school administration direct students that were already on buses from St. Michael's School be taken to the Middle School until road conditions improved. It was not until 4:05pm that students at Laurel School were dismissed and 4:30pm until students at the high school were dismissed. This is a 45 minute *late* dismissal for Laurel Students and a 70 minute *late* dismissal for high school students. It is now 6:15pm and I continue to hear bus drivers on the radio. I'm hearing a lot of drivers checking in with the administration building that they have just dropped off their last student and are heading home.

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