Live Team Storm Coverage

December 22, 2008 2:05:20 PM PST
The Mariposa School District closed their schools down because of heavy snowfall in the Sierra's. The valley has received a steady dose of rain for most of the day. It's created some problems on the roads and it looks like we could see even heavier rain before the weekend.

The Mariposa School District closed their schools down because of heavy snowfall in the Sierra's.

Every morning, Mariposa School District Transportation Director Bob Morse wakes up early to check weather conditions in Mariposa County.

"Today was very unpredictable," said Morse.

After checking with Caltrans and the National Weather Service, Morse called for the area's first school snow day of the year.

"If they're home in their house, that's a lot better than if they come to school and the storm hits like it's predicted to hit this afternoon and we get snowed in here at school," said Bob Morse.

Morse's decision meant that most of the district's 2,300 students did not have to go to school.

Automatic calls went out to students and faculty notifying them of the cancellation. But some students missed the call.

"I was pretty mad because I got up at six to get ready for school but then I was really excited about it," said Ally Tomerline, Mariposa High.

Eleven of the county's 13 schools were closed. The only two to remain open were in Yosemite and El Portal, where students walk to school instead of riding the bus.

Morse says the decision to close schools is a student safety issue.

"It's kind of hard to explain sometimes to parents that yeah it's just raining here but we couldn't get our buses from the outer areas into here."

So Morse takes the time to educate his bus drivers on chains and how to properly wrap a tire.

Parents we spoke with say they're glad the school board is airing on the side of caution.

"The safety of the kids is important and I don't think they mind the day off from school as well," said Jim Blake, parent.

Only a few miles up the road from Mariposa, snow is starting to fall and accumulate on the ground. Now, the school board has three snow days built into the calendar and because students have Wednesday off, they will have to make this day up later.

"What? I didn't know that!" said Tomerline.

Reporter: "So what do you think of that?"

"I don't know. Ahhh, that sucks!"

Students will most likely have to attend classes the Friday before spring break, a day they usually have off.

But that's a few months away and these students say they want to enjoy their day off watching movies, hangin' with friends, or spending time with parents.


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