Many parents may be questioning the decision by some area school districts to call off school on Wednesday in anticipation of the looming Nor’easter.
We recognize it can be a major inconvenience for families if a parent has to find a last minute baby sitter, impose on a neighbor or friend or take a vacation day from work to stay home with the kids.
But what made the call for a snow day a bit tougher to justify was the fact that weather forecasters seemed to be off on the timing of the storm’s arrival. The storm was expected to hit the area mid-morning Wednesday and there were some early snow showers here and there, but nothing significant enough to impede travel. By 11 a.m. the weather forecast had been updated to indicate the bulk of the snow would start falling at a rate of 2 inches an hour by 1 p.m. Flakes did begin to fly at that time, but roads were still clear, leaving most Central Connecticut residents asking: “Where’s the big storm?”
Even Gov. Dannel Malloy may have been wondering about the forecast as he held a press conference to indicate non-essential state employees were being sent home.
As we all know, the storm did hit Wednesday afternoon dumping upwards of a foot of snow in parts of Connecticut and really, the timing couldn’t have been better. Because the bulk of the storm moved across the area during the night, DOT crews were able to get ahead of the storm by pre-treating the highways earlier in the day. With many schools closed and many businesses closing early, there was less traffic which likely was responsible for very few reported accidents. Even city-dwellers had time to get their vehicles off the street in response to early parking bans so plows could get to work.
Most importantly, school officials made the right call in cancelling classes or imposing early dismissal Wednesday and Thursday, too.
The number of snow days so far this season could mean a couple of extra days in the classroom in June and a change in graduation dates, but these consequences are minor. The decision to err on the side of caution and keep both children and adults safe was the right thing to do.