Leon impacts Piedmont: Snow brings unexpected measure for city’s students
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Jan 30, 2014 | 1369 views |  0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Unlike a lot of students across the state who had to stay overnight at school, Piedmont students were able to make it to their homes Tuesday. Photo: Anita Kilgore/The Jacksonville News
Unlike a lot of students across the state who had to stay overnight at school, Piedmont students were able to make it to their homes Tuesday. Photo: Anita Kilgore/The Jacksonville News
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Snow was expected for the Piedmont area Tuesday morning, but no one thought the city would get more than a light dusting. School administrators thought it would be a regular school day, but that didn’t happen. It wasn’t long after students arrived that they had to be sent home. About 10 had to be carried home by the police.

One of the busses that left carrying students couldn’t continue because of the treacherous road conditions and had to return. That bus was carrying students toward Cherokee County.

Middle School principal Jerry Snow said the further the bus went, the more dangerous the roads became, so it was called back.

“We didn’t want to risk the students on the bus in those road conditions,” said Snow. “We stopped one bus from leaving because it went near mountains, and we didn’t let them go because we were worried about the hills.”

Teachers and school personnel immediately began contacting parents. Some parents couldn’t make it to pick up their children, so the police came with their 4-wheel drive vehicles and, accompanied by school officials, got them home safely.

“We housed the students until the police were gracious enough to come and get them,” said Snow.

“We always have a plan in place for situations like that, but, obviously, our plan had to be moved up quickly,” said Piedmont High principal Adam Clemons.

“Once the snow started, we fed all the students,” he said. “Some parents started coming early, which was fine. Basically, we had everyone out of there by 11:30 except for those few students who had to return to school because of the bus situation.”

Clemons expressed his appreciation to those involved in delivering the students to their homes.

“Kudos to the mayor and police department for working with us to help get our students home safely,” he said. “They played a big part in that.”

Mike Brown, manager of Gregerson’s said the snow caused hours to change at his store.

“We closed early Tuesday and opened late Wedneday,” he said. “We closed early Wednesday.”

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the police department said all roads were closed Tuesday and Wednesday and would not reopen until temperatures went above freezing. Only a few minor accidents were reported.

The Piedmont Journal’s delivery date which is usually on Wednesday had to be moved up until Friday.

Journal editor and publisher John Alred expressed his appreciation for the patience of the Journal’s subscribers, advertisers and readers.

Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com.
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