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Icy roads close Anchorage schools

By Lauren Maxwell 7:42 PM December 5, 2013

It was a day off that almost didn't happen

ANCHORAGE - The icy roads meant no school today for thousands of Anchorage students. But it’s a day off that almost didn’t happen.

The Anchorage School District doesn’t depend on the weather forecast to decide if schools will close. When the weather is iffy a team of drivers from the Pupil Transportation Department hit the streets as early as 2:30 am. Drivers test the roads from Eagle River to Girdwood to assess their condition.

Things looked pretty good at 5:30 a.m. when the district made the call on school closures, said ASD’s Heidi Embley.

But by 6 a.m. the frozen rain had started.  That turned everything around, including school buses.

“We actually stopped it right after we decided to stay open,” Embley said. “We said, ‘it’s too icy, it’s raining right now and it’s supposed to continue raining throughout the day.’ So we did make a late call in the interest of safety.”

Embley apologized to parents who may not have gotten the news early enough to make other arrangements. She said decisions to close schools are never made lightly, and the district realizes they definitely have a ripple effect on the community.

As for tomorrow, Embley said they will be out early assessing road conditions. The information should be on the district’s website  by 5:30 a.m., she said.

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