Every year, North Carolina receives some sort of severe weather (though the amount of severity tends to vary). During hurricane season the warnings flashing across everyone’s phones tend to be flash-flood related, but usually, at least once, there will be a day where the forecast predicts snow.
In Chapel Hill, the stormwater management department and the streets and construction department are different, despite both falling under public works. Both departments are also specific to Chapel Hill, meaning that instead of the county controlling who gets their road plowed or iced before a storm, it is the town. This can leave some areas, such as the neighborhood Dogwood Acres, which falls just outside of Chapel Hill, but not yet inside Carrboro, unprotected from winter weather.
“When my dad and I were driving back from the store we watched the salt truck guy turn around before he got all the way down our road. He never went past our house,” Edison Eyster, a local eighth grader, says.
Somewhere between three to six kids from dogwood acres ride the bus that goes to Carrboro, about 15 more ride that same bus but are from heritage hills. Should Dogwood acres have had dangerous roads, that’s at least 18 kids who wouldn’t have been able to get to school that day, not counting those who drive or those in other schools.
Luckily, the area remained fairly safe, despite some patches of black ice, but other areas such as Farrington Hills did receive power outages. Maya Mahadevan, a Junior at Carrboro, spoke to us about the issue.
“My power did go out during the snow and it made the day far more boring and uninteresting.” She says.
During the snow, school was canceled because of possible black ice and unsafe driving conditions, which had a lot of people laughing when it did not snow very much the first day that students were off (Friday, January 21st).
However, Mahadevan says that: “[School] did need to be canceled because for the consideration of others, the buses could not manage to drive around and drop and pick up students like they could on a non-snow school day.”
On the Friday in question, schools in the district did remain virtual, so the day was not counted as a “Snow Day” by the state, meaning that students will not have to make it up at a later date.
Maybe this year’s first snowfall will also be it’s last, but at least the students of Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools got a day off out of it.