in Geezer, Musings, Raleigh, Weather

Preemptive school closings and delays

Wake County Public Schools just announced they will stay closed tomorrow. This comes a week after the school system had a two hour delay for about a half-inch of snow. Tomorrow’s threat of anywhere between 4 and 8 inches of snow is a bit more serious, at least, but you have to wonder if the school system isn’t getting a bit too snow-shy.

Everyone who’s been around here long enough remembers the utter disaster of 2005, when an inch of snow at morning rush hour closed schools and sent everyone on the roads at once to fetch their kids. The roads promptly froze over, leading to colossal gridlock the likes of which I’d never seen before nor since. Certainly, no one wants that to happen again. I sure don’t. I’ll never forget it!

Even so, that incident is now nine years in the past. Raleigh has grown up considerably since then. The city now pre-treats the roads with salt brine and gets ahead of the storm. I think the city has handled subsequent storm events very, very well. In essence, I think it’s highly unlikely Raleigh will get caught off guard again.

So if the city has improved its snow response, what about the schools? Seems to me the school staff aren’t making a call based on how a given storm will impact school transportation. Rather, the school system should be deciding based on how well the City of Raleigh and NCDOT can keep the roads clear. Yes, it may be -9 degrees or, yes, it may snow two feet overnight. It shouldn’t really matter what happens if the city and state can clean it up in time for the early buses to roll.

  1. Perhaps today’s utter screwup in not having school will make them think more about it next time. I notice that even though Durham has already closed for tomorrow (and was open today, but with an early release), Wake still has yet to decide what they’re doing tomorrow. One hopes they’re trying to be smart and avoid using up the precious few snow makeup days left (if possible).

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