Essexville-Hampton apologizes for not canceling school - WNEM TV 5

Essexville-Hampton apologizes for not canceling school

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ESSEXVILLE, MI (WNEM) -

Essexville-Hampton Public Schools has issued an apology for not canceling school on Friday, Jan. 12.

Matthew T. Cortez, the Superintendent of Essexville-Hampton Schools, outlined the school's process and why they did not close.

Cortez said if the area is expecting bad weather, the schools will monitor forecasts the night before and collaborate with transportation directors, superintendents, the county road commission, and others.

Cortez said the forecast called for 1” of snow between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.

At about 4:30 a.m., it was still raining and there was no ice. Cortez said he had multiple people testing the roads.

Cortez said his people continued to drive on the roads until 5:30 a.m. with no signs of ice.

At that time, the forecast still called for 1” of snow with no winter weather advisory, Cortez said.

However, at 3:40 a.m. the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory until 7 p.m.

The public school has to make their decision by 5:50 a.m. in order for the buses to leave for their routes.

Cortez said the schools were told that the snow would be ending between 11 a.m. and noon., they thought this would allow for snow removal and salting of roads.

The schools said in their apology that it was not wise to send students or families back into the storm when it is now avoidable

Another Mid-Michigan superintendent said it was a tough call.

"I was like 'oh boy, I'm going to get a few calls today,'" Carrollton Public Schools Superintendent Tim Wilson said.

Wilson said he was up at 4:30 a.m. to assess the situation.

"Looked outside and there was nothing. Then about 5:15 it started to sleet a little bit. And when I looked at the weather report it was supposed to sleet for a little bit. They said about 15 to 20 minutes. Then we're going to get one to two inches of snow. And sure enough, after about 15 to 20 minutes the sleet went away and it started to snow. I figured one to two inches of snow, it's not going to be a problem. But as you can tell out there, we've got a lot more than two inches of snow. You know, and it caused a lot of havoc for us," Wilson said.

Wilson said if he knew this much snow was going to fall he would have canceled class.

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