BOONE COUNTY, Ky. - The Wednesday morning snow squall caused some big problems for drivers, but no school districts delayed or called off classes, and that didn’t sit well with some parents.
So how are those decisions reached?
9 On Your Side reporter Tom McKee found the answer in Northern Kentucky's largest school district, Boone County.
Boone County makes a go or no-go decision on school at 5 a.m. to let the 250-drivers of these buses know if they should show up for work. The roads were fine when the buses began rolling at 5:30, but an hour later things changed in many areas.
The buses rolled away in snow squalls from Conner High School.
"We just got caught today,” said Mike Blevins, Boone County Schools Deputy Superintendent. “It was the wrong time for that storm to come through."
The forecast was 30 percent chance of snow and temperatures above freezing. When that quickly changed, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet called workers in.
"Our crews tried to get there as quickly as we could this morning to help things along, but by that time a lot of the backups were already happening in those isolated areas," said Nancy Wood of
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - District 6.
Temperatures quickly dropped from 33 to 28 degrees and the highways froze.
"The pavement sensors were saying that the pavement temperature was 35 degees, so that tells us that when the snow is hitting that it should be melting,” Wood said.
But, it wasn't, and crews called to treat bridges and overpasses themselves got stuck at times.
"Timing is everything, especially in the snow business,” Wood said."
Blevins said Boone County school began rolling at 5:30 to pick up 15,000 students, but the storm didn't hit until 6:30.
By that time it was too late to call the drivers back.
"We told them to move slowly, once the roads were getting bad. If they felt it was unsafe, pull off the side. Wait until the county can get salt trucks out there and do that,” Blevins said. “We weren't worried about being on time as much as making sure students were safe in getting there."
One thing for sure, the district was not going to send students back to houses that might not have any adult supervision.
"We don't know what parents are there or not, so you just can't drive them around and drop them off if there's no one home,” Blevins said. “ You would hope they have a key to get in, but you don't know that for a fact, so we aren't going to take that chance."
Some parts of Boone County didn't get any snow -- just rain. In
the end, there were no reported incidents and the school day went off without a hitch.
"We have great drivers,” Blevins said. “I have all the confidence in the world in our drivers in keeping our students safe and doing a good job, and they did that this morning."
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