We made it all the way to Martin Luther King’s Birthday without missing any school for bad weather, which is highly unusual. Probably only maybe the second time in 20 or 25 years that schools have been able to take the holiday because that is typically the first snow make-up day.
Then winter hit, and school was out for the rest of the week last week.
It was not a vicious storm by any means, in terms of heavy snow, bitter cold or heavy ice that knocks out power. But for the hundreds who were stranded on ice-glazed roads until well into the evening Tuesday night, or for the bus drivers and school officials who did not get their last students delivered until 10 o’clock, it was a vicious storm.
Seven hours from Branson to Bradleyville. That could be considered vicious.
The total accumulation of frozen precipitation amounted to less than an inch. Folks in Michigan and Illinois would scoff at missing school with that amount of ice. But if they only had to drive some of our roads…
What made the situation so severe was how quickly road conditions deterioriated. Dr. Nate Moore, superintendent at Mansfield, said the school parking lot glazed over within minutes while buses were loading to take students home early Tuesday. And my daughter, Michelle, who was seven hours from Branson to Bradleyville, said it was fine when she left Branson, but between there and Forsyth the roads glazed over and hundreds of cars were off the road – including a MoDOT truck.
Moore said an administrator-friend Don Forrest told him it was the worst day in his school career. Branson kept kids at school well into the night and “hand-delivered” the last of them around 10 p.m.
Anyway, it has been a relatively mild winter for us, so far, but in this part of the Ozarks we don’t give up on winter until the end of March, or even April. It hasn’t been that many years ago that we had snow the first weekend in May! Of course, it didn’t last long but it was sure a shock to the anatomy.
This week things are looking up, weather-wise, with springlike temperatures predicted by the week’s end. But look out! I heard the weatherman say this morning that the temperature would drop like a rock next Tuesday. I knew it would. That’s Feb. 2. It’s always bad on Feb. 2. Right, Terry? (Personal story.)