Wintry blast chills region
Winter slid into Baldwin City late Sunday leaving a layer of ice and a dusting of snow that closed schools, sealed cars shut and caused minor accidents on Monday.
Those with cars parked outside encountered a thick layer of ice in the morning. And for many, a daily stop at the post office provided an opportunity to scrape off ice that wouldn't budge the first time.
City workers were applying a salt and sand mixture to the roads before and after the freezing rain and snow. Bill Winegar, assistant utility director, said the city's salt and sand spreader was making its rounds by 10 p.m. Sunday and was back on the road at 3:30 a.m. Monday.
He said to still expect some spinning tires.
"When it's cold like this, it will be tough for that salt to work through," he said.
It was the first "snow days" of the school year for the Baldwin school district on Monday and Tuesday. Supt. James White said the decision to not have school was an easy call.
"We felt the layer of ice was treacherous," White said. "We didn't want the students out, particularly with as cold as it was predicted to be."
White and transportation director Roger Dressler were up soon after the city salt truck was on the streets for a second time on Monday. White said he and Dressler drove some roads and met at the district office for a 5:30 a.m. conference call with about 10 other school districts. On that particular morning, not all the districts agreed school should be canceled.
"About three or four schools didn't think the conditions warranted school being out," White said.
White said the local decision was made out of consideration for the safety of the students.
"We had basically decided we weren't going to have school before the call," he said.
Unfortunately for the students, there wasn't enough snow to make a snowman and temperatures wouldn't make it much higher than 10 degrees during the two days off with the wind chill factor well below zero.
There were probably more slip and falls on sidewalks, than car accidents Sunday through Tuesday afternoon. Sgt. Colleen Larson had taken one report of a car sliding on ice on U.S. Highway 56 and spinning into a sign at NAPA Auto Parts. Police were called to some slide offs as well, and helped get the vehicles back on the road.
"Most of the accidents were in the county," Larson said. She said most of those accidents were non-injury.