Some area schools announce closings

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 28, 2000


Staff Writers

Jan. 27, 2000 9 PM

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Most area schools had announced closures today at press time Thursday night.

Officials from Troy City Schools, Pike County Schools and Troy State University announced their schools would be closed due to expected inclement weather.

With temperatures expected to drop even more and a 60 percent chance of a sleet and snow mixture, city workers spent Thursday getting ready.

As workers readied trucks, school superintendents in the Troy City Schools and Pike County school system made the decision to cancel school for today. Troy State University will also be closed.

Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said utilities and public works employees are equipped to handle what nature delivers. Those employees will be put on a standby status, the mayor said.

"We hope it’s a waste of preparation," Lunsford said of loading trucks with gravel and sand and chainsaws.

But, if the worst does come, the mayor assures "things are under control."

Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, public information officer for the Troy Police Department, warned people to stay off the roadways if road conditions become questionable.

"We recommend everyone use extreme caution and make sure roadways are passable," Scarbrough said.

Freezing conditions can also cause tree limbs to fall across roadways, making traveling dangerous.

"We just want everyone to be safety conscious," Scarbrough said, adding people should only get out on the roads if it’s absolutely necessary.

Pike County Administrator Steve Hicks said county employees are also ready "in case" they are needed.

"Hopefully, we’re going to miss the worst part of the storm," Hicks said.

Hicks added, the county can call in the National Guard if local resources are exhausted.

Regarding closings, Hicks said that decision will be made this morning, adding people should use "common sense" when they awake.

"We don’t want anyone putting their life in danger," Hicks said.

Sheriff Russell Thomas wants to prevent tragedies and deputies will be available to check on elderly citizens and find them shelter, if necessary.

Thomas’ deputies will also be able to help those who might get into trouble on the roadways.

"The biggest problem we had in 1993 was people going off the road," Thomas said of the slippery, icy roads.

Deputies and corrections officers will be on standby and motor vehicles are gassed and ready to go, the sheriff said.

The jail generator has been gassed up and tested so those 65 inmates incarcerated will be all right.

Scarbrough encourages residents to keep their radios and televisions turned on for information about their schools, should announcements be unavailable Thursday evening.

"Everyone needs to tune in and listen to the announcements if they are uncertain about whether their office or school will be closed," Scarbrough said. "The idea is to keep people off the roads if they don’t need to be there."

Scarbrough said the weather makes it important for people without a specific reason for traveling to stay indoors and off the streets, as police patrols in Troy will work to ensure motor vehicle safety.

Besides the closings announced Thursday, many officials believe other closings will be forthcoming in the early morning hours today.