Schools Close Early Due To Storm

SPOKANE — With worsening weather conditions around the region, school districts across Eastern Washington started closed early Tuesday afternoon and began working early to to decide whether or not to hold classes Wednesday.

District 81 officials said the side streets around Spokane are still impassable and they reluctantly canceled school for a third day in a row. The bus company sent out 13 buses Tuesday to check on conditions and five of the buses got stuck with in an hour, with one of them having to be towed from where it got stuck in the Indian Trail area.

The road test determined the residential streets in the northwest and far south side of town are still unplowed and buried in snow.

“The biggest problem you get bogged down, even with chains and cables, if it gets deep enough even with weight, especially on hills, the smallest hill has a tendency to bog bus down and can’t get going,” bus driver Roger Deshaw said.

Bus drivers say the roads that have been plowed are also difficult to get down because the snow berms have made the roads narrower. District officials say another consideration is some sidewalks also haven’t been cleared forcing students to walk in the street which is extremely dangerous

The City of Spokane has agreed to re-prioritize the roads and do them as soon as possible so the buses can get through and school can resume Thursday.

District 81 spokeswoman Terren Roloff also confirmed that there will be no finals on Thursday and that finals week has been postponed until next week. All days the students have off this week will have to be made up as well.

In the Central Valley School District, officials decided to release all high school and middle school students an hour early Tuesday, canceled all after school activities including afternoon kindergarten, ECEAP, special education classes and Barker Night School. The district will be making a decision about school operations for Wednesday by 4:30 p.m.

Deer Park closed its schools at 12:45 and canceled all activities for the remainder of the day including a basketball game against Riverside High School.

The Welpinit School District made the decision to close at 12:30 due to worsening conditions and the East Valley School District has canceled all after school buses and activities.

Liberty School District has canceled Tuesday’s basketball games have been canceled due to no power in the district. The games will not be made up as Odessa has conceded the win to the Liberty girls.

The Creston School District closed at noon because of drifting snow and white-out conditions while the Kootenai Joint District closed at 1 p.m.

The Wilbur School District closed at 12:20 p.m. after the Lincoln County Road Department recommended sending all school buses home early due to blowing and drifting snow. The Keller late bus has also been canceled while the basketball game against Waterville scheduled for Tuesday evening has also been canceled.

The Steptoe School District has closed and already plans on starting school Wednesday two hours late. Buses will run on paved roads only and morning kindergarten and preschool will be cancelled Wednesday.

Tekoa School District closed at noon because of weather conditions. Students living in town were released at noon while students that take out of town buses were released earlier.  Afternoon preschool has also been canceled. 

In the Sprague-Lamont School District all events and practices have been cancelled while schools has been closed in the La Crosse School District.

Whitworth University is canceling most evening classes that begin after 5 p.m. while all evening classes at North Idaho College and all satellite campuses in Coeur d’Alene have been canceled.