Snow days almost gone

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By Damon Lawrence

Roane County Schools is close to depleting its allotted snow days.

Director of Schools Toni McGriff said the system had blocked off 11 for the school year. Eight have been used so far.

Snow and ice blanketed the area last week because of a winter storm and persistent cold temperatures.

Road Superintendent Tom Hamby said crews were out treating roads on Friday because there were still some icy spots around the county.

“Most of them are in areas that don’t get a lot of sun,” he said.

The cold temperatures caused the snow and ice to stick around. Roane County Schools were closed all last week.

Temperatures were expected to get above freezing this past weekend. Hamby said that would help thaw things out because even treated roads can quickly refreeze when the temperatures are below freezing.

McGriff said school officials have a lot of things to consider when deciding whether to have school.

“No. 1 is safety,” she said. “That’s the first thing we take into consideration. Can we run buses safely?”

McGriff said the system has people who monitor the roads to help make that determination.

“We can’t ride every road, but we know the roads in different communities that are problematic for us,” she said.

Parking lots can turn into a slushy mess because of snow and ice. McGriff said that’s another thing school officials take into consideration.

“We can’t have people coming to school on parking lots that are unsafe,” she said.

McGriff said high school report cards were supposed to go out last Tuesday. That was delayed because of the unexpected time off.

McGriff said students are still out of school today – Jan. 17 – for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.