Schools plan for snowfall

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A dusting of as much as a half-inch of snow could be in store for the Augusta area late tonight and early Friday.

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Laser thermometer he uses to test the surface temperature of the roads.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Laser thermometer he uses to test the surface temperature of the roads.

School systems began planning Wednesday for making a decision on whether to close on Friday.

Part of the determination in Richmond County will involve handheld infrared scanners that maintenance and facilities workers use to take the temperature of asphalt, sidewalks and driveways.

Benton Starks, the school system's facilities director, said he'll be out as early as 4:30 a.m. Friday using a scanner to take readings. If it shows paved surfaces near freezing, he could make a recommendation to delay classes.

The school system's transportation director also makes a recommendation about the condition of roads. Ultimately, the decision is Superintendent Dana Bedden's.

Typically, Mr. Starks said, a decision is made by 5:30 a.m. that day, but it could come earlier.

In Columbia County, Superintendent Charles Nagle said he and his staff intend to determine today whether to call a two-hour delay in opening school Friday.

They will take a look at road conditions Friday before deciding whether to close for the day.

They rely on condition updates provided by Pam Tucker, the Columbia County emergency and operations services director, and the National Weather Service.

In Aiken County, deputy superintendent David Caver said such a decision is typically made before 5 a.m. He said the school system stays in touch with Aiken County Emergency Preparedness workers and can send out area assistant superintendents to check road conditions. Superintendent Beth Everitt will make the call.

Mr. Caver said decisions have been made the night before a storm, but "unless we see something happening, we'll probably hold out until early morning."

COLD SNAP

January's average temperature, including highs and lows, was 12 degrees below normal as of Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. The organization didn't have information to show if the stretch of below-freezing nights lately is a record. Already, there have been several days of lows in the teens and 20s. Tonight's low is expected to drop to 25, and lows should again dip into the teens over the weekend.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/07/10 - 05:56 am
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Might as well make it a

Might as well make it a furlough day and save some money.

HotFoot
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HotFoot 01/07/10 - 06:52 am
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Oh, for heaven's sake, you're

Oh, for heaven's sake, you're worried about freezing cement and a dusting of snow? I would hope that Dr. Bedden, having moved form the Philadelphia area, will appreciate the absurdity of closing (or even delaying the start of school) for such paltry reasons. Somehow, school districts manage to stay open in the Midwest, Northeast, West...pretty much everywhere else in serious cold and precip. The article makes it sound like impending disaster when it's just a little snow, people! Enjoy it!

HowieBoutneaux
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HowieBoutneaux 01/07/10 - 06:56 am
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Philadelphia and the Midwest

Philadelphia and the Midwest have more than ONE snowplow salt/sand truck.

HowieBoutneaux
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HowieBoutneaux 01/07/10 - 06:58 am
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I have witnessed schools "up

I have witnessed schools "up north" closing when it got too hot though......

Dixieman
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Dixieman 01/07/10 - 07:18 am
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HotFoot - Up north they have

HotFoot - Up north they have trucks, sand, equipment, etc. because they have to deal with this. Augusta does not, as we only have a snow day once every 5 or 6 years. Delta is ready when you are if you miss the north.

TroubIe
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TroubIe 01/07/10 - 07:22 am
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we have a snow plow??????????

we have a snow plow??????????

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/07/10 - 07:24 am
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Next, we are going to have

Next, we are going to have people tell us we don't know how to drive in snow. These braggarts speed past you and end up in an accident up the road. As someone who had the unfortunate requirement to live in the snowy north for 5 years, let me tell you, there is no secret. Just slow your butt down.

HotFoot
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HotFoot 01/07/10 - 07:26 am
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I've never known a school to

I've never known a school to close because of heat and I've lived in five other states, all of them substantially north of here. I well understand the lack of snowplows and salt/sand, as I got stuck in the "big" snowfall driving back from Atlanta last year. They did nothing to the highways and it was the most dangerous conditions I'd ever experienced. However, the forecast is for a "dusting" (per the article). To be fair, I've noticed this hyper-vigilance about the weather and hyperbolic response in the last 10 or so years, even in places where huge snowfall is the norm. Just watch: there will be a run on bread and milk at the grocery store as people prepare to hunker down. It's a little ridiculous.

HotFoot
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HotFoot 01/07/10 - 07:31 am
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And Riverman is right: Slow

And Riverman is right: Slow down and don't slam on your brakes. Slow and steady, or stay home.

HowieBoutneaux
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HowieBoutneaux 01/07/10 - 07:34 am
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Toilet paper too! And

Toilet paper too! And Greyhound/Delta is ready when you are. I'm impressed that just because YOU haven't seen something than it could not happen. Just FYI, Professora, when I was living in Elkins Park right outside of Philly, my private school, Pen Ryn, was closed for outside heat more than once. I'll name drop with you all you want. I still don't know why some super yankee liberal with so much smarts is teaching marxism through creative writing in a lower tier southern school. Did the elitists boot you out?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/07/10 - 07:35 am
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Actually, the forecast

Actually, the forecast doesn't even call for a dusting. There is only a 20% chance of precipitation. This is like a rumor of snow that got started and has ended up in the paper. It's not forecast.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/07/10 - 07:41 am
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Okay, make that 60% according

Okay, make that 60% according to the Weather on the 8's I just saw. Heh.

HotFoot
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HotFoot 01/07/10 - 07:42 am
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I'm not a professor. I don't

I'm not a professor. I don't teach college. I once taught as an adjunct, for about 20 minutes. I didn't "name drop". And private schools are notorious for closing at the drop of a hat. Whatever your previous posting name, Howie, it's clear you're more interested in this identity guessing b.s. than responding to a point. I don't know who you are and don't give a d*mn, so why don't you go peddle your "detective" work someplace else?

LEO
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LEO 01/07/10 - 08:06 am
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Leave it to some to make this

Leave it to some to make this article into another controversy. When you're to the point of cursing and swearing over an article on snow, then maybe you need that second cup of coffee. Next we'll be hearing that somehow racism is involved, you know, since snow is white and all.

HowieBoutneaux
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HowieBoutneaux 01/07/10 - 08:11 am
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Point taken, LEO. I'm just

Point taken, LEO. I'm just sick of hearing "That's not how we do it up north"

HollyHoly
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HollyHoly 01/07/10 - 08:33 am
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yeah, and we're just sick of

yeah, and we're just sick of hearing YOU period, Howard. No matter what your name. lmao

LivinATL
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LivinATL 01/07/10 - 08:53 am
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For the record, Georgia gets

For the record, Georgia gets an "F" for knowing how to drive in the snow. They did a study on that and had that on the local news here. Georgia is not prepared for weather pertaining to freezing rain or sleet, so that's the reason why they close everything. The midwest and north are prepared for weather like this. Do you see any tire stores or car dealerships here in GA that sell snow tires or chains for our tires???? NO.

LivinATL
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LivinATL 01/07/10 - 08:55 am
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For the record, Georgia gets

For the record, Georgia gets an "F" for NOT knowing how to drive in the snow. They did a study on that and had that on the local news here. Georgia is not prepared for weather pertaining to freezing rain or sleet, so that's the reason why they close everything. The midwest and north are prepared for weather like this. Do you see any tire stores or car dealerships here in GA that sell snow tires or chains for our tires???? NO.

LEO
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LEO 01/07/10 - 09:00 am
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ATL, that's because they'd

ATL, that's because they'd lose money keeping an inventory of snow tires and chains for that one day in 5 years when there would be a run on them. The problem is not even the snow. It's the temperature of the roads and the build up of ice on them that could be the problem.

LivinATL
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LivinATL 01/07/10 - 09:05 am
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LEO, exactly. That's my point

LEO, exactly. That's my point I was trying to make to Howie or whoever that is. It's different for every State and Country as to how they handle weather or whatever issues that may come about. My family is originally from Queens, NY, so YES there is a big difference but those that are not from the south or haven't lived here long enough can not ASSUME that the south is prepared like NY, DC, etc would be for weather like this. Heck, we weren't even prepared for the flooding we had in September here in ATL. I live right across the street from the Chattahoochee river.

Pu239
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Pu239 01/07/10 - 09:08 am
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Driving on ice is like
Unpublished

Driving on ice is like pushing a rope. I don't care how far north you are from, your shiny hiny is gonna end up in a ditch. BRB gotta go to wally world and buy bread, milk, toilet paper......

LEO
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LEO 01/07/10 - 09:24 am
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ATL, maybe GA gets an 'F',

ATL, maybe GA gets an 'F', but it's really all about business. Selling snow equipment in the deep South does not make one rich. Maybe infrastructure improvements would raise the score, maybe changes in road design, etc., who knows? However, no one area can ever be completely prepared for every weather contingency. What about tornadoes, lightening strikes, flooding (as in your case), extreme heat, etc.? I think what has become lost is just plain common sense. Take shelter in a storm, don't cross a swollen stream, don't drive if you don't have to when the roads are icy, don't over exert yourself when it's very hot (and on, and on). I mean, how did people survive in the past without all the modern conveniences to keep us safe?

LivinATL
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LivinATL 01/07/10 - 09:32 am
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You have a good point LEO and

You have a good point LEO and I can say that the infrastructure in ATL compared to AUG is sooooo soooooo sooooo terrible!!! ATL's streets, bridges, etc. I mean everything is very terrible, like they just threw up roads and bridges anywhere. If not that, they never went back to rebuild hundred year old bridges, replacing old pipes, etc. Thank GOD, the neighborhood I live in did not get flooded but common sense should kick in. However some individuals act like they don't have it. If I don't have to drive, trust me I won't. I do miss Augusta and try to come home when I can. Be safe and stay warm!

JustMe
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JustMe 01/07/10 - 09:37 am
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Hotfoot...I live in

Hotfoot...I live in Baltimore. Alot of the older schools only have windows and no air conditioning. If there is an extreme hot spell some of the schools do close because of the heat. This would be individual schools not whole counties.

jimmy1913
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jimmy1913 01/07/10 - 09:40 am
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I am a native of Augusta

I am a native of Augusta moved away in 1987 to SW Ohio where we are getting between 3 to 5 inches out of the same system as I type the snow is starting to turn the ground white I remember as a kid we went 6 years without having a school closing down there let the kids enjoy it!It takes about 3 to 4 inches up here for schools to close just because of the hilly area.

LEO
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LEO 01/07/10 - 09:42 am
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Thanks ATL, however, I'm a

Thanks ATL, however, I'm a cop, and I'll be out and about in the midst of the nasty weather helping those folks who don't exhibit common sense. So, I don't mind so much when schools and businesses close when the forecast calls for a dusting of snow!

seenitB4
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seenitB4 01/07/10 - 09:43 am
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LivinAtl I live in Gwinnett

LivinAtl I live in Gwinnett cty. Hope we get a nice covering later today,, it is beautiful,,, & we will tell our Augusta friends just how pretty it is..& I know these posters will keep us entertained..keepum coming guys,,,we all need to laugh more..

LivinATL
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LivinATL 01/07/10 - 09:55 am
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You're welcome LEO...lol

You're welcome LEO...lol trust me, I've seen a lot of ppl here without common sense! SeenitB4, I actually live in Roswell and it is pretty to see the snow but do you really think we'll get it? I think it'll be more like freezing rain but who knows..Were you here last year when it snowed the first week of March? That was soooooooooooo pretty! If it does snow, I agree with jimmy1913, I hope the children enjoy it!

Pistol
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Pistol 01/07/10 - 09:58 am
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Congratulationss HOTFOOT, you

Congratulationss HOTFOOT, you are the new leader of the IDIOT OF THE YEAR AWARD.

Casting_Fool
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Casting_Fool 01/07/10 - 10:03 am
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I've lived in this area for

I've lived in this area for just over 25 years. The few times it's snowed or iced up here in Augusta, I learned to stay off the roads because most folk in our area do not know how to handle snow or ice. I'm sorry, but that's how it is. I'm from Philly in PA. Spent half my life driving in bad winter conditions, so I'm fairly sure I know what I'm talking about. If you're not experienced with these winter conditions, please stay home until it melts. It's bad enough trying to avoid inexperienced and/or bad mannered drivers when the weather's dry.

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