Monday is a snow day in the Chilliwack school district.
Large accumulations of snow, freezing temperatures and strong winds led to the decision to cancel all classes for the day after 5 a.m., according to the district’s website.
The decision means all district facilities are closed to students, staff, and this includes daycares, preschools, the Neighbourhood Learning Centre at Chilliwack secondary school, rentals, and all community use.
Chilliwack Christian schools and Squiala Elementary School is also closed for the day.
Environment Canada put an arctic outflow warning in effect for the Fraser Valley from Abbotsford to Hope by Sunday afternoon as snow fell, temperatures dropped, and the wind picked up. The wind combined with the falling temperatures expected over the next several days could generate wind chill values of -20 C or lower.
”If outside, dress warmly in layers and stay dry,” according to an Environment Canada warning. “Cover as much exposed skin as possible to avoid frostbite. Ensure that shelter is provided for pets and outdoor animals. Be prepared for unusually cold temperatures and strong winds.”
The Chilliwack school district decides on school closures based on a number of factors. At approximately 2 a.m., maintenance and transportation staff assess the road conditions and the conditions at school sites.
“District crews provide an estimated time that snow and ice will be cleared from parking lots, sidewalks and busses. The Manager of Transportation also consults with City of Chilliwack Maintenance Staff and the Fraser Valley Regional District (EMIL Anderson). Weather reports and storm warnings are taken into consideration for the day. Other concerns include fallen or low-lying trees, power failures, accidents and traffic flow. Sidewalks that have excessive snow due to snow removal off the streets are also a safety concern, especially along corridors where students would normally walk to school.”
The recommendation is then made to the district superintendent before 5 a.m.
“Snow Days are announced on a day-by-day basis only. If inclement weather should continue for more than one day, a routine assessment will occur each day with recommendations brought forward prior to an announcement.”
See www.theprogress.com for updates on the weather conditions, and the status of schools for Tuesday.
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