Why are schools still closed?

A parent cornered over lunch at The Floyd Country Store Wednesday and said he and other parents are wondering why Floyd County schools remain closed.

“They’re playing basketball games in the gym at night but the school remains closed during the day? What’s going on?”

In a word: Safety.

Schools in Floyd County remains closed for a 10th straight day Thursday because too many area roads remain snow covered, hindered by drifting snow and hazardous from slick conditions. That creates both liability and a serious safety issues when you try to travel those road in a school bus filled with students. With main roads clear, the schools can hold evening events but hazardous conditions on the county’s secondary roads remain a problem.

School buses don’t do well on slick roads.

With snow still falling during the nighttime areas in some parts of the county and winds blowing, snow drifts over roads and creates hazardous situations. Towing companies report a brisk business in rescuing cars from slick roads and snowbound ditches.

It’s still dangerous out there and the school system is wise to keep schools closed until the roads are safe. Snow drifts continue to block parts of Sandy Flats and Harvestwood roads near our home. If Amy and I had kids in school we would not want them traveling those roads in a school bus.

6 thoughts on “Why are schools still closed?”

  1. Good morning. I was just thinking Doug should write something about the schools being closed so long. It is quite something being closed this long. But it is for the best. There are so many dirt and secondary roads in Floyd County that are still very dangerous. I tried to help a neighbor yesterday get un-stuck on flat icy ground and we couldn’t budge it. He miraculously was able to get chains on and got out. Friends of mine called VDOT (first time a week ago) on Tues. begging them to come out and put something on a terrible hill. At least 30 families live on this road. VDOT said they’d put them on the list. They said, NO you don’t understand. This is a huge hill that sits on a cliff that plunges down to the river. VDOT said they couldn’t promise anything….and they didn’t come. The neighbors brought all their ashes, salt and kitty litter to the hill and took care of it themselves….The situation is grim. Hopefully this weekends’ warmer weather will make a difference.

  2. I live near Huckleberry Ridge Road in the northeastern part of the county. Yesterday some areas of that road (a paved, two-lane road) were one-lane only and snow-covered due to windy conditions and drifting snow along the ridge. There are probably other areas in the county in the same shape. I know parents are concerned about the multiple missed school days, but they’d be much more than concerned if the bus their child was riding got stuck in a snowdrift– or worse.

  3. Hey Doug,

    Are you curious as to why FLOYD was not on the list of counties approved for Federal Disaster Assistance? Everyone knows and is experiencing that we are in the worse shape around and yet we were not on that list run on local TV yesterday. Did someone drop the ball and not request our inclusion? What’s up with that?

    Being our most diligent local investigative reporter, keep us up on that scoop!

    Jason Rutledge

    • It has to be a historical amount of snow to qualify and it wasn’t. But VDOT sent in a secondary list which includes Carroll, Floyd etc. it just hasn’t been approved yet. For that matter it might not be but since they’re just printing money with no value anyway I think it might be.

  4. I gotta ask why don’t we have a snow route for the school bus system?
    Most roads in Floyd are clear and dry, a few rural routes are drifted and icy, however the residents are mobile. Would it be so difficult to establish an alternate route system, which by the way would save money (every time a bus starts or stops it costs a little extra), allowing parents to put kids on a bus? We have seen many changes in Floyd, many are unaware that senior students used to drive the bus route; that time is past, now we have a bus stop at every driveway; perhaps it is time to discuss another change- in which children walk, or parents transport to a bus stop. I’ll throw this suggestion to the readers, have at it.

    • Jeff, buses do not go on ALL roads in Floyd Co. A bus doesn’t even go through my road. I take both of my kids to school every day and pick them up. I don’t want them walking down to the main highway to catch the bus and if I am going to have to get my 2 year old up and out of bed to take them to the end of the road, I might as well drive them on to school. I have tried for 3 years now to get a bus up our road but the bus garage tells me that it is “too dangerous” for a bus to turn up our road. All the while it is “safe” for it to stop at the end of the road in a blind curve. As for the snow route for buses, I am not sure if we ever had one, it is possible that many years ago one was in place and for some reason no longer in effect.

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