Thursday, February 04, 2010

Enough already!

Look.  I like snow. I still feel the same way about snow now that I felt when I was 7.

Problem is, when I was 7 I lived in West Virginia. It was the 1970s. They expected snow. Snow fell so often in the winter that climatologists spoke of Global Cooling. (which is why I have never been able to get 100% behind the idea of Global Warming).

1-3 inches of snow was nothing when I was kid. You didn’t get a delay, let alone a whole day off from school for 1-3 inches. 4-6 inches would get you a delay. It might get you a day off depending on how much snow was already on the ground and whether it was still snowing at 6am.  I remember a couple times in high school where we had a delay and then an early dismissal because of storm conditions. But those were serious storm conditions. The sort of conditions that buses with chains can’t drive in.

But now I apparently live in a sub-tropical zone because the mere threat of flurries can be enough to cancel some schools.  It’s not as if is never snows here. We get at least 2 decent snow storms a year but it’s not enough to justify the sort of preparedness I am used too. There are no chains for the buses. No studded tires for cars. (you can have them on your car Nov 1 to Mar 1, but good luck finding any to buy). No efforts made to salt the ‘back roads’. (this is a rural county, a significant number of us live on back roads) Hell, my kids got their first pair of snow pants in their lives this week. So I do understand not wanting to spend money on items that get little use

My kids have not had school all week. It snowed 2-4 inches over the weekend so Monday’s cancellation I expected though honestly, I think I 2 hour delay would have sufficed. The roads were passable by 9am. I live on a back road – paved, not dirt – but still near the bottom of the DOTs priorities. Tuesday’s cancellation came out of the blue. Apparently the back roads were iffy for the buses, but other counties had a 2 hour delay and I was out on the roads at 9:30 & they were fine, most of the snow was gone.

Then Tuesday another 2-4 inches fell, so of course no school Wednesday. But surely to god there would be school Thursday? Right? Even my driveway is passable!

But no!

Back roads are still icy. No school today. Since it is not getting any warmer today than it was yesterday & we are expecting a major storm tomorrow so the road crews will be pretreating the major roads rather than attending to the back roads, I’m assuming those roads will still be icy so no school tomorrow either. I’m just waiting for the phone call confirming my suspicions

Given that the storm is supposed to last from Friday afternoon until Saturday evening and dump anywhere from 4 to 36 inches depending on your weather source, probably no school Monday and if 3 inches of snow makes back roads impassable I can only think they will still be ‘icy’ on Tuesday and probably Wednesday as well (when there is a 30% chance of snow).

I understand wanting to be safe. I understand we have bus drivers that are not used to driving in snow/icy conditions and don’t have the equipment to deal with it. My kids ride those buses on a back road.  So it’s my own offspring that the county is looking after. And it’s been an unusual winter. But maybe it is time to accept that it SNOWS HERE and buy the chains & be ready for next winter.


SciFi Dad said...

OK, I may live in Canada (and therefore have a higher tolerance for snow and driving) but that is just INSANE. Completely and utterly INSANE. If the climate lets the snow stay past 24 hours, then they should have provisions to deal with the snow. (In places where snow is a freak occurrence, like say NC, I have more understanding, but that much snow? They need better prep.)

humel said...

Yep. I know. We had a few flakes of snow in the UK and the whole country just ground to a halt. School closed all week, bins not emptied for a month, roads not gritted - and even when they were, the pavements weren't.... Rubbish!!

Mama Zen said...

I've just been through the same thing!

Lizzie said...

Yup! I hear every word you say... we had just the same thing at the start of January.
At least school are now making plans so that local kids can still attend school if they can walk, or be driven safely.
So if it happens again this month, we may not have total closure of school for a week or more..
Hope your snow goes soon!

Cheri said...

I can't understand anywhere that gets snow that sticks to not have provisions for dealing with it. I went to college in Massachusetts and we had class even if it snowed a FOOT! My kids get a two hours delay when we have a dusting. I'm grateful we haven't had any actual closures so far this school year - most of our snow has managed to fall on the weekend.

Creative Junkie said...

Holy crap, I can't believe that! Here, we literally have to be buried under 5 feet of snow before they'll call school off and that's only if the kids' can't trek to school in snow shoes.

Marlene said...

As a transplanted Canadian, now living in the U.S., I find it hysterical that they issue 2 hour delays/close schools for the most insignificant snowfalls. Then again, it was very flat where I used to live. Lots of hills around here...I suppose we could stretch that argument. ;)

Heather said...

Is it spring yet?

Too Many Hats said...

Wow, a whole week off and it wasn't even very bad. So do they extend the school year to make up for these snow days? I am clueless as we never get snow.

Too Many Hats said...

Wow, a whole week off and it wasn't even very bad. So do they extend the school year to make up for these snow days? I am clueless as we never get snow.