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Schools wrestle with fallout from snow and cold

Last updated: February 05. 2014 10:11AM - 333 Views
By - news@theoberlinnews.com



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You could hear parents all over Amherst breathing sighs of relief this past week as school resumed session, at least until doors shut again yesterday amidst heavy snow.


January saw more calamity days here for snow and cold than any year in recent memory as classes were called off seven times.


That’s two more than the five allowed by the state, plus yesterday’s call-off.


That means Amherst students will have to attend make-up days starting June 2, according to superintendent Steven Sayers.


That’s unless the Ohio legislature votes through an emergency one-time measure to allow more calamity days following a plea from Gov. John Kasich.


Other districts across Lorain County are in the same boat.


The Firelands school system used its sixth calamity day last Wednesday as wind chills hit -22 degrees and tacked on a seventh on Wednesday.


Superintendent Robert Hill said his students will attend a make-up day on Friday, Feb. 28, which had previously been set aside for teacher enrichment.


Lorain and Wellington on opposite ends of the county have each racked up nine calamity days.


Meanwhile, the Oberlin City Schools were more conservative, closing only when temperatures became too dangerous for students who walk to school or wait at bus stops. Both county and state officials warned of hypothermia and frostbite with just a few minutes’ exposure to last week’s conditions.


Oberlin was well-positioned with only four snow days, keeping one in reserve for when the need arose yesterday.


Even more closures could be on the way in February, which historically brings nasty ice and snow storms.


Average historical precipitation for the month in Amherst is 2.3 inches, with an all-time low of -18 degrees.


Readers will also remember Winter Storm Nemo, which formed in the Atlantic one year ago this week and moved west, dumping 25 inches of snow on Boston and causing 18 deaths as it headed inland.


The Nor’easter largely petered out by the time it traveled over Ohio, but two back-to-back Midwest storms caused complications later in February 2013.


Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or on Twitter at @EditorHawk.


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