Cold temperatures making it difficult to clear roads in Southside so schools can open

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

HENRY COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Warmer temperatures on Wednesday helped loosen and melt much of the remaining snow and ice.

"[The roads] are a lot better today because of the temperature," said Henry County Public Schools Transportation Supervisor Tim Fulcher.

But with the county as big as it is, the district can't literally drive down and inspect every road, making deciding whether or not close school potentially tough.

That's where social media helps.

"Students have been very generous and sharing photos of their street via Twitter and Facebook," said Monica Adams Hatchett, the district's director of communication and organizational learning.

The biggest challenge with this snowstorm was not the snow itself as much as it was the cold temperatures once the storm left.

"The temperature has been our biggest concern over the past couple of days," said Fulcher. "It was -2 earlier this week. We know no melting's going to take place there."

With many rural roads around the county that may not get plowed as much as a main road, the lack of melting has left many of the county's roads covered in ice and too much of a risk to students.

"We have a team of people that drive the secondary roads, the back roads, in our community to determine what those roads look like and how safe they are for travel by school bus and for those who might need to stop for students loading and unloading," Hatchett explained.

With the roads deemed safe Wednesday afternoon, the second semester could finally begin and if social media is any indication students are ready.

"In addition to snow Tweets we've received, [we're] seeing Tweets from students who are saying 'I kind of miss school' or 'I'd actually like to begin second semester sometime soon,'" Hatchett said.

Martinsville City Schools also planned to re-open Thursday.

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