School officials watch cold temps

Low temps

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Another snowfall and a round of low temperatures hit the state Wednesday night and that could mean a very long list of school delays.

The cold is expected to be a major factor tomorrow Thursday morning.

The current conditions are playing a role in officials making the decision whether or not they have school.

“The decision has to be made for children,” said Dr. James Halik, superintendent of the Community School Corp. of Southern Hancock County. He talked with 24-Hour News 8 by phone ahead of making a decision to close or delay school.

“What the two hour delay does get you in the morning are several things; a two hour delay will buy us time to decide if we need to close because of blowing drifting snow,” Halik said.

While school officials are focused on the temperatures right now, keeping the roads clear is the Department of Public Works’ main concern.

“Every snow fight is different,” said Department of Public Works’ Spokesperson Lesley Gordon.

Gordon said this latest fight won’t be so much about clearing snow, but making sure the roads are clear and passable.

“Cold temperatures definitely add a challenge; it makes the salt a little slow to activate depending on how cold it gets,” she said.

Already this season, DPW has used 42,000 tons of salt. In a typical season, the department uses about 33,000 tons.

“Record breaking already and we’re just toward the end of January, so we are continuing to look to replenish our salt supply and keep those deliveries coming in,” Gordon said.

Gordon said they’re fine for now, but as for making sure the kids will be at school, it’s a tough call.

“This is really trying and struggling for superintendents. This is like the winter that won’t end,” Halik said.

Late Wednesday, the decision was made to delay classes for Southern Hancock County schools.

The low temperatures are also dangerous for anyone to be outside – and that includes animals.

The Marion Animal Care and Control says this stray dog was brought into the shelter with extreme frostbite.
His paw was so badly deformed, the vet is going to remove his ankle. But, with time and a little love, he is expected to recover.

Click here to see school closings and delays.

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