Area schools looking to reopen

ELKINS – Area school staff and parents – and yes, even students – are eager for schools to reopen after weeks of polar temperatures.

Randolph County Superintendant of Schools Terry George said personnel have traveled to all of the schools in the county to keep them maintained during the days missed due to wintry weather.

“We have a safety director who visits as many schools as he can every day that we close,” George said Wednesday. “He and several crews check the heating systems, clear walkways and driveways and inspect buses to make sure they are ready to run their routes. Each building’s lights, heating and freezers are inspected as often as possible.”

George said that his preventive maintenance staff has worked diligently to prepare schools since the winter weather closures began weeks ago.

“Students haven’t been in school since Jan. 17,” George said. “We have to work to get kids reacclimated to school. Based on the work of my staff, I am confident that the school buildings are all ready to receive students.”

Randolph County public schools are running on a two-hour delay for Thursday. Also on two-hour delays are public schools in the following counties: Barbour, Upshur, Tucker, Pocahontas, Grant, Hardy, Lewis and Pendleton.

The National Weather Service in Charleston is calling for a high temperature of 35 degrees today, with a low tonight of 10 degrees. Temps will climb even higher over the weekend, with a high of 55 degrees predicted for Saturday.

The NWS is expecting a high of 46 Sunday, although snow is possible that day and into Sunday night. The forecast calls for highs in the 30s and 40s next Monday through Wednesday, with a 50 percent or more chance of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Although the rugged weather seems to be easing in our region, a winter storm crippled parts of the country Wednesday.

There were 2.6 inches of snow recorded in Atlanta, according to the National Weather Service. Macon, Ga., saw 2.1 inches of snowfall, while Columbus, Ga., reported 1.2 inches. Thousands of drivers were stranded for hours on gridlocked highways in the Atlanta and Birmingham areas, forced to either sleep in their cars or hike several miles to their destinations. Elsewhere, others gave up on the icy roadways and warmed up inside stores and restaurants offering shelter. Some even slept on the floor of stores like CVS pharmacies.

In Georgia, state troopers responded to more than 1,200 wrecks. More than 130 people were hurt, while at least five were killed across Georgia and Alabama. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest, logged nearly 1,000 cancellations as of Wednesday afternoon.