UPDATED: Chilliwack schools could close again Thursday

Parents asked to call in absences if they kept their children home today from school

A snowy traffic jam on a Chilliwack side street on Wednesday morning. Many students were sent to school on foot as schools opened despite dangerous travel conditions.

A snowy traffic jam on a Chilliwack side street on Wednesday morning. Many students were sent to school on foot as schools opened despite dangerous travel conditions.

Chilliwack parents, if your children stayed home from school today, call in the absence.

Some schools are reportedly dealing with massive numbers of absences, and it is policy of elementary schools to call parents to ensure students are safe. With no buses running, students will either be taking public transit, driving or walking on Chilliwack roads today.

That means schools are making hundreds of call outs today to make sure everyone who headed out to school has made it there. Many students were seen traversing snowbanks where sidewalks should be this morning, and walking directly on busy roads to get to school.

However, many parents in Chilliwack did choose to keep their children home today.

Parent Sarah Bayes watched cars getting stuck in the snow at Williams and Reece, near Chilliwack secondary, as kids were forced onto roadways alongside traffic.

“Cars (are) getting stuck in the snow, and meanwhile several kids are walking all over the road because most of the sidewalks are nowhere to be seen,” she said.

Wednesday was the first day of school this week in Chilliwack, after two snow days. Mission School District has kept its schools closed today, and Abbotsford has eight schools closed today. A winter storm warning is in effect for Chilliwack today, with 15 cm of snow expected beginning this afternoon, and the potential for freezing rain overnight.

UPDATED: Feb. 8, 3 p.m. From the Chilliwack School District:

A winter storm warning is currently in effect for Chilliwack.

According to weather reports, Chilliwack can expect snow this afternoon and overnight, with snow turning to freezing rain sometime after midnight. Weather experts are predicting approximately 1 cm. of ice accumulation overnight, followed by heavy rain (totalling around 20 mm) throughout the day.

With this forecast, we are anticipating that we may have to close schools and sites for all staff and students tomorrow. Rentals, Community Schools and Daycares would also be closed.

Our crews have worked hard to clear our schools and sites this past week, and if we receive the additional snow, ice and rain that is anticipated, we may not be able to have schools and sites safe for students and staff for Thursday morning.

A final decision regarding schools and sites being open on Thursday, February 9 will be made by 5:30 a.m.