Extensive rain closes Thursday schools

Friday, September 18, 2009

Due to inclement weather, Marshall County Schools' administrators decided to send students home starting at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Schools spokeswoman Rhonda Poole recorded a telephone message to be sent to parents by the "Community Safe Phone Call System." Her announcements to "all parents" started at about 11:45 a.m. Thursday.

Classes were curtailed "because of road conditions," Poole said of the primary reason for school closures.

Rain is forecast through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

"Normally the jet stream is well north of us this time of year," meteorologist Michael Girodo said at noon Thursday. "But there's a dip in it and it is located just to our west.

"That it creates a closed off low aloft, and that creates a rotation center, a pinwheel effect," Girodo said. "We're on the east side of it and it picks up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

"It doesn't look like it won't stop anytime soon," he said. Rain was expected to continue "at least through the weekend."

Meanwhile, Marshall County has "issues with the schools and our maintenance department is addressing that," Poole said. "There are some leaks in the ceilings."

An elementary school in the west part of the city was particularly affected.

The land in the town of "Chapel Hill often floods in the back roads and towards Cornersville the back roads flood with streams beside them," Poole said. "Culverts get clogged and the water has no where to go."

Schools Director Stan Curtis, Assistant Director Roy Dukes and Mitchell Byrd, the systems' human resources director made the decision in conjunction with observations and advice from Transportation Director Michael Frey who was out driving county roads Thursday morning.

A decision on what to do about classes today was the subject of continued monitoring, Poole said.