If you are in Cabarrus County right now you are probably enjoying beautiful weather – but that was not the case this time last month.
North Carolinians everywhere, especially parents, were scrambling with last-minute schedule changes as cold, snow, ice and freezing temperatures shut down businesses and schools. It all started after kids already had a long weekend, thanks to Presidents Day Feb. 16.
Though it seemed like bad weather would only close schools for a day or two, as it often does, the storms just kept coming. Every time it seemed like there was a break, we would get hit again.
And while all these last-minute school closings are a huge inconvenience for many parents, most people just hunkered down and made the best of it, like Courtney Wright of Concord, who was 34 weeks pregnant when the first storm hit.
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“This prego sat outside on the back porch – in a bathrobe, while the snow fell – with a glass of warm tea. I normally am the type of person who sits on the couch in the summer snuggled up under a blanket but while being pregnant I can’t seem to cool down. Only six more weeks to go,” Wright said. “I welcome the cold for now. I feel I’ll be singing a different tune once this little girl arrives.”
Then there are those who can’t skip work at all because they work from home – like Sirisha Nagari, also of Concord.
“I was not really part of fun as I work from home while my family enjoyed play dates, movies and fresh hot food,” she said. “I am happy it was relaxing for my family and partially for me, too. The best part was I didn’t have to wake up early for the school bus.”
Within two weeks the public schools in Cabarrus County closed the doors eight times, including a Saturday that was supposed to be a makeup day. Yes, it snowed on the snow makeup day, too!
Because so many of us were stuck inside, many used that time to accomplish what they usually don’t have time for, from binge-watching entire TV series to cooking up a month’s worth of dinners.
The painstaking job of deciding on whether to close school or not falls on the shoulder of the school superintendent.
“The safety of our children is our first priority,” said Barry Shepherd, Cabarrus County School superintendent. “Deciding whether to delay or cancel school due to inclement weather is one of the most difficult decisions a superintendent makes. I am very proud of the work my team does to keep our students and staff safe.”
After all the storms passed, students and parents were ready to get back to a routine. And though it may seem extreme – especially to those from northern states where schools rarely close due to bad weather – many residents were thankful the superintendent made safety a priority.
A little ice and snow can cause hazardous driving conditions and most parents would agree it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Linda Doherty is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Linda? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.