While there is always a possibility of a tornado when severe weather conditions exist, this is not the reason we, Salem Community Schools, chose to dismiss early today. The primary reason for early dismissal was the threat of severe thunderstorms close to our normal dismissal and bus route time.
We do not want buses on the roads with the threat of 60 mph wind gusts, as not every area of Washington County is flat. We have several routes where our buses navigate roads that are very narrow with not much of a shoulder near ravines. A combination of rain, hail and wind could spell disaster for a bus on one of these ridges.
We also would like for our teachers, staff, and student drivers to be able to get home and put their cars in the garage or other protective shelter to prevent hail damage to their cars. That may seem trivial to some, but to our employees and students, I think it is appreciated.
We have one of the largest counties in the state and each school district is a little different in road conditions and terrain. It can be storming or snowing in one part and sunny and dry in another. We all try to make the best decisions we can and I am confident that everyone is focused on what is best for ALL children.