Archive for Thursday, December 20, 2012

Weather forces districts, including Lawrence, to cancel classes; other cancellations listed

December 20, 2012, 5:33 a.m. Updated December 20, 2012, 8:02 a.m.


Area school superintendents decided on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, that it was too dangerous for their students to attend classes because of the first winter storm of the season. Lawrence and other school districts in northeast Kansas dismissed classes, and the weather force other closings and cancellations. The ice and snow proved a bit of a challenge for area residents as they cleaned sidewalks, including Kelli Duncan who was shoveling about 8 a.m. outside of McColm Orthodontics, 12 W. Eighth St.

Area school superintendents decided on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, that it was too dangerous for their students to attend classes because of the first winter storm of the season. Lawrence and other school districts in northeast Kansas dismissed classes, and the weather force other closings and cancellations. The ice and snow proved a bit of a challenge for area residents as they cleaned sidewalks, including Kelli Duncan who was shoveling about 8 a.m. outside of McColm Orthodontics, 12 W. Eighth St.

Several area school districts have canceled school today, Dec. 20, 2012, because of weather conditions:

• Lawrence.

• Perry-Lecompton.

• Ottawa.

• Basehor-Linwood.

• Eudora.

• Tonganoxie.

• Santa Fe Trail.

• Baker University Baldwin City campus.

Other closings:

• Independence Inc.

• Prairie Moon Waldorf School.

• Lawrence Montessori School.

• Douglas County Senior Services' Senior Meals Program.

• Lawrence Athletics and Gymnastics, no morning activities.

• Senior Wheels.

• Lawrence Senior Center.

• Lawrence Arts Center Arts-based preschool. (The Arts Center will be open through 9 p.m.).

Opening late:

• Lawrence Public Library will open two hours late, at 11 a.m.

• Haskell Health Center, opening at 10 a.m.

• Just Food was closed until noon, and will be open until 5 p.m. today.

Power outages:

Westar Energy is reporting power outages in Douglas County.

Weather outlook:

The National Weather Service forecast reports that snow will continue to fall until about 9 a.m., followed by blowing snow. Today will be windy, with northeast winds at 25 to 30 mph this morning, decreasing slightly this afternoon. Wind gusts could be as high as 45 mph. The weather service forecast says total snow accumulation likely will be about 1 inch.


Early Thursday morning, emergency crews were responding to numerous minor accidents related to the weather conditions.

Much of K-10 is "snowpacked." You can check out the Kansas Highway Patrol's road map here:

On Interstate 70, the Kansas Turnpike Authority reports "ice possible" between Topeka and Lawrence. Check their map here:

All lanes of US-56 at the Osage/Douglas County line are closed after an accident, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

However, is reporting that all roads in Northwest Kansas are open, as of 7:20 a.m. Thursday according to KDOT.


mommydaycare 5 years ago

Really USD it that serious that you will continue with school today? School parties and activities.....let's remember the safety of children and faculty!!

fithawk 5 years ago

Calm down. 497 will probably call it There's still time.

Mike Edson 5 years ago

USD 497 normally makes the call at 6:00 am.

Matthew Herbert 5 years ago

this is the last day for high school finals with grades due - you can't even imagine the rescheduling headache a closing would cause today.

workinghard 5 years ago

Poor planning on their part. Maybe they should schedule them a day or two earlier just in case this happens.

JayCat_67 5 years ago

Well, I don't know if workinghard's idea would work or not. Seems it would give the schools a little wiggle room in situations such as this. But I do know that his/her post is more constructive that just calling someone else's idea "stupid".

Matthew Herbert 5 years ago

a day or two earlier? How exactly then should I get a kid to come to school AFTER their finals are done.

workinghard 5 years ago

So which is worse, rescheduling or getting them to come to school the next day?

JayCat_67 5 years ago

You act like a parent and get their butt to school just like every other day of the school year.

JayCat_67 5 years ago

Actually, the way your question is worded, it becomes apparent to me that you may rather the teacher or school administrator. Either way, it's up to the parent to make sure their kid goes to school like they should.

workinghard 5 years ago

The teacher could give extra credit for attendance the day after.

parrothead8 5 years ago

School schedules are written long in advance. Perhaps you'd be willing to let them know which days it will snow so they can avoid this situation in the future.

SpiritTat 5 years ago

@mommydaycare, I was thinking the same thing ~ and I know I can always choose otherwise (for subsequent posters who'll feel the need to restate the obvious) -- middle schoolers have all of just under a 3 1/2 hour school day today -- its all activities - it will be more of hassle to get everyone there safely for the few hours of non-instructional time they'll be receiving anyway!

mommydaycare 5 years ago

Exactly...just everyone a headache today and cancel typical of Lawrence,!!!!

LadyJ 5 years ago

Thought about going out to get the paper and opened the door. Nope, if it's even out there, it can stay.

mommydaycare 5 years ago

@fithhawk.. No need to calm down....not all parents stay home and we need to make arrangements for the kids!!

Irenaku 5 years ago

Well, if my kid does have school today, he won't be driving his car, as he has never driven in blizzard conditions. It'll be the bus...

elliottaw 5 years ago

Where is there blizzard condition? It is two inches of snow and a little wind, man up people no need for anything other than a little delay, this is crazy

kufan8808 5 years ago

High School kids have finals, but they really should cancel. I don't want my daughter driving to school... which is why I'm up. Also our power is cutting in out and out. I just talked to my parents in old west lawrence whos power has been out. Definately no coditions to be outside in!

SpiritTat 5 years ago

Thank you ~ easier to just get myself to work and all than juggle that mess to school .. then back to school to pick kiddo back up just a few hours later

peace n happy solstice n holidays and snow day ~

kdminden 5 years ago

They just called. Lawrence is closed until January.

Ken Lassman 5 years ago

They just added Lawrence schools--no school

Bobbi Walls 5 years ago

Just got the call that Lawrence is closed. My 8th grader wasn't going anyways because of the short day, but my 2nd was..she's gonna be disappointed but I would rather them be safe.

Joe Berns 5 years ago

So, does anyone know if Lawrence public schools are closed?


Merry Christmas!

mommydaycare 5 years ago

@did i say that...grow up this is about the safety of our children, not what my screen name is!!!! Get a life!!!!

mommydaycare 5 years ago

@Richards...ironically no I work outside the home so please mind your buisness before you assume something!!!

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Then get off the computer and take care of your kids and your job. There's the irony.

1julie1 5 years ago

You are exactly right. The faculty and students are gone so they really aren't that concerned about the employees.

workinghard 5 years ago

Boy, that stinks. Heard a police officer on the scanner trying to respond to a call at KU at 5 a.m. but he was having a hard time getting up Naismith. Not sure if he made it.

Currahee 5 years ago

That would suck, having to navigate the roads at KU when they're covered with snow.

Topple 5 years ago

When "news" stations ran out of real news and needed gimmicks to entertain the herd.

headdoctor 5 years ago

Now, Now. There are a lot of special snow flakes this morning.

kernal 5 years ago

You forgot the barefoot part, Gandalf.

windjammer 5 years ago

Has anyone started to worry about mommydc haven't heard from her for several minutes.

JayCat_67 5 years ago

Well, she did mention that she works outside the home, so she may be getting ready to go to work. Please note that this is an educated guess based on observation, not an assumption.

akt2 5 years ago

Eudora message was that further information will be posted on their website today regarding finals. They too had finals today and were to be dismissed for winter break at 2p. They don't start back until Jan 7th, so I'm sure they can figure something out that makes more sense than sending them to school today.

friendlyjhawk 5 years ago

Did none of you parents have a plan in mind before today about what should be done in inclement weather conditions? Did you not know you live in KS? Did you not get advance warning all week about what was probably going to happen today? Or is it always about how tough YOU have it as a parent because YOU have to be responsible for your children 24/7? Put your big girl and boy panties on and get on with what you need to do.

elliottaw 5 years ago

This is embarrassing that school is canceled, it is like this has never happened here before, it is 2 inches of snow people, throw down some salt/cinders and you will be ok.

JayCat_67 5 years ago

There were problems with the visibility because of the wind too. Does seem like it took a lot more to close school when we were kids, though. (See Gandalf's post above)

tomatogrower 5 years ago

I think it was the wind and visibility that was the problem. It was really nasty when it was still dark, but now it's not so bad.

Cai 5 years ago

Part of it is that Lawrence doesn't have the resources set aside to deal with the snow. So roads don't get plowed etc.

The other part is that, since it rained first, the 2 inches of snow are covering a sheet of ice.

Add both of those with 25-35 mph winds with gusts of 50?

As a steamboat springs, CO native, I see where you're coming from - but there are factors that go into these decisions other than sheer amounts of snow.

LadyJ 5 years ago

I believe a large part of the decision is based upon whether the school buses can run safely.

otto 5 years ago

Agreed - the bus usually comes by my house before 7 and that is 20 miles from town. The conditions were pretty poor out in the county.

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

And what conditions are for kids who must wait on corners for the bus.Or walk.

elliottaw 5 years ago

Two hour delayed would have fixed all those problems, it is 27 degrees right now, the kids go outside for recess as long as it is above 15, so if they can go play out there then, they can go to school now. Mine have spent the whole morning playing outside with all the neighborhood kids

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Well, frankly Autie, you sound jealous. But really it makes things safer for all of us. There are fewer cars and no school buses on the road, so it make it easier for others to get around safely. I guess we are all sissies now. Or maybe we are all getting some common sense.

elliottaw 5 years ago

Agree 100% no need for them not to be in school

mom_of_three 5 years ago

I think it was the wind gusts and the blowing snow that cancelled school for the kids. Windchill with the blowing winds is in the teens if they are lucky, and the blowing snow may make it hazardous for the buses. But I wish lawrence had a way of starting school later, like we used to as kids

Bridge 5 years ago

Baldwin is closed. Kansas city has it on the web why can LJW. not list it.

LloydDobbler 5 years ago

Dear Provost Vitter:

Since your precious faculty and students are all done, you don't have to make any tough calls about the weather today. Nevermind that staff members, most of whom live outside of Lawrence because you don't pay them enough to live in Lawrence, have to drive longer distances and you don't even get an hour grace period.

It is incumbent upon leadership to understand when people need extra time or resources to do their jobs safely. It is also incumbent upon leadership to treat everyone fairly. But in the world of KU's ivory towers, fairness doesn't matter. I guess it's pretty easy to suffer from compassion fatique when you are pulling down $300K+ and live on or close to campus.

If this is the kind of leadership and compassion you have for your staff members, perhaps it's time for both you and Dr. Gray-Little to move on. KU and Kansas can do better.

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years ago

Katara they just started that this year no clue why guess they thought winter storms were offended or something:) And they cancelled schools because of the conditions because of visibility not the amount of snow on the ground, if you can not see on snow packed roads how can you drive on them? I for one am happy because I did not need to get up clean the car shovel the drive and then drive but dang it they woke me up to tell me to sleep longer:)

elliottaw 5 years ago

wasted day, if they had called a two hour delay visibility would not have been an issue at all, I think who ever made this call just didn't feel like going to work

Katara 5 years ago

Draco is a weird name for a winter storm.

Ralph Gage 5 years ago

Red Dog's Dog Days went on schedule at 6 a.m. LOL!

jhawk1998 5 years ago

I love a snow day! Makes me feel like a kid again. Everything slows down.

1julie1 5 years ago

All the streets in Lawrence are a mess. Do not drive if you do not have to. I just took Clinton Parkway and there was no evidence it had been plowed. Nothing but a lot of snow and vehicles sliding and unable to stop. I saw a van slide through Clinton Parkway and Kasold and another mini-van unable to stop for a turn at Iowa and Clinton Parkway.

If you don't have to drive, don't. I don't know what is being plowed and being made safe for driving, but it sure isn't any of those main streets.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

2" of snow and a little wind. Oh the humanity! LOL. Close EVERYTHING!!!!!

LloydDobbler 5 years ago

I don't think anyone said close everything, other than elementary schools. We just need a little common sense such as extra time to get to work. Would you rather have someone splattered on the road?

kernal 5 years ago

C'mon, Jack. It's the ice. Freezing rain was still coming down at 2:30am today; I don't know what time it changed to snow.

alor 5 years ago

I drove to work at KU a half hour ago in a mini van from outside of town and experienced no problems on the roads. I am prepared for bad weather, as we all should be living in Kansas, and know how to drive in less than ideal conditions. I'm glad to see the snow, and my son is making some extra money getting rid of it. And I get to have lunch with my daughter and grandkids who are home from school today. It's a good day.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

Lol @ people "splattered all over the place" because of a little snow. You must be a real blast at parties.

LloydDobbler 5 years ago

He says from the comfort of his mom's basement...

jellybeanies 5 years ago

I swear that LJWorld commenters seem to be the most high strung people that overreact to everything. There is always some major complaint about minor issues. Stop stressing people. There are way worse things in the world that can affect your life than having to wait until 6am to find out a school closing. (This has been USD 497's practice for years now, by the way) You are taking years off of your life getting worked up over something so insignificant.

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

It could be MUCH worse. I'm thinking of what happened last week.Moment of silence.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

Just had a meeting cancelled because the person can't leave her children at home. Good lord, way to muck up everyone's business school district.

kernal 5 years ago

"I swear that LJWorld commenters seem to be the most high strung people that overreact to everything.

You must not read comments anywhere else. ;>D

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years ago

I want the sun to come out so I can stay lazy and not clean the sidewalk and car hee hee .

JackMcKee 5 years ago

That's funny considering Lloyd is the one panicking over a little snow.

buffalo63 5 years ago

Police car just slid around the corner. Didn't hit the curb like several other cars did this morning. None were going very fast either!

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years ago

Well the visibility was very bad when I was looking out my warm cozy house and you cannot really treat roads when the dang snow will not stay down and be good, plus wind was just terrible why it has to want to play in the storm no clue. I am glad they cancelled school though I know alot of kiddos around my area walk and it was is cold and the windchill is not helping.

adagio 5 years ago

The issue isn't the amount of snow, or lack there of, it is that people do not know how to drive in it.

Michael Rowland 5 years ago

Just to clarify one thing a lot of people have been saying about KU: yes, this is winter break. The undergrads are gone. But breaks don't count for faculty nor grad students. Faculty won't leave until the actual holidays. There is research to be done, grants to be obtained, papers to write, etc. Many grad students won't leave because their advisors won't let them. Breaks are great for research because there aren't any undergrads around. There are also postdocs who will still be going in. Break never means that KU will be empty of professors and students. Just means everyone who does research can focus on research!

CreatureComforts 5 years ago

Coming from Boston, I do get wimpy in Lawrence/KC much easier (and with much less snow) than I would back in the northeast, because (a) people can't drive in it, and (b) the crews, ESPECIALLY Lawrence, don't know how to clear it.

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

buffalo63 2 hours, 9 minutes ago

Police car just slid around the corner. Didn't hit the curb like several other cars did this morning. None were going very fast either!

---what? that was a special maneuver he trained in at the academy Buffalo, you just didn't see it on CHIPS.

bearded_gnome 5 years ago

no comments from DIST for a while ...

he must be in 'time out' after having been such a very bad boy!

akt2 5 years ago

They were clocking winds in Lawrence at 50 and 53 mph at 6 this morning with visibility less than 1/4 mile and a wind chill of 11. Mechanical failures and slide offs are possible. Some kids still have to walk even if it's just a block or two. If they could make it without frostbite, sidewalks and parking lots weren't safe. Falls cause fractures. Near blizzard conditions would warrant cancelling classes. It was treacherous early on and it caught everyone off guard. Tomorrow is the first day of winter. This was a nice little practice run.

LadyJ 5 years ago

Used to work with a woman that would call if it snowed even a tiny bit and insist she could not work that day because it was really cold . If she started the car to warm it up and then locked it while she went back inside to wait, the doors might freeze shut and she would not be able to get into the car much less turn it off. For some reason it was not feasible for her to sit in the car while it warmed up.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

So she wouldn't lock herself in the car. Duh!

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years ago

All I can say is that I made it to work, despite the fact that someone slid through a stop sign and directly into my path on 19th. I hit the brakes, felt a skid but was able to maneuver into the oncoming lane, which was necessary due to the fact that the offending driver chose to just stop and sit in my skidding path. DRIVER, continue forward (out of my path) when you end up in the path of oncoming traffic with the right of way! Perhaps the car stalled. I don't know...

It's all we were safe due to luck (no cars in the opposite lane) and my MAD defensive driving skillz!~) Be safe people. I was not. I was obviously wrong to go the speed limit in those conditions, especially as winds had blown my car offline on Haskell Ave.

Sometimes the overly cautious save us from the "underly" cautious. Let's not get our undies in TOO much of a bunch. In this society, as we are all mostly WRONG to accept this world in its current STATE...but must...!-D

Jean Robart 5 years ago

This morning, when the roads were so bad---why did it take USD 497 so long to call school off? It was obvious long before 6 am that the driving conditions were so bad.

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