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Winter continues its hold

By Staff | Mar 27, 2009

It just won’t go away.

Winter, that is.

A north-moving weather system, dumping between four and eight inches of snow in western and central North Dakota, hit on March 24, and coupled with high winds made road conditions hazardous, especially in open country.

In Rugby, just over seven inches was measured by KZZJ 1450 AM, the official weather reporting station, early last week. However, some areas in the southern end of the county reportedly received more.

No school was held in the Rugby district on March 24, marking the fourth time this term school administrators have called off class because of weather-related issues. The three other days missed were Nov. 7, Jan. 12 and Feb. 9.

Jeff Lind, school superintendent, said road conditions, and not necessarily weather, that often has been the determining factor in whether or not to call off school. The excessive snow and winds have made for hazardous driving conditions for buses in open country.

He has been in education for 21 years, the past 10 as an administrator, and no year has been quite like this one for winter weather. “It’s definitely one for the books,” he said.

In addition to the four full days missed, school has either started a few hours late or was dismissed early because of weather and road conditions. Lind said the latest school days missed will prompt officials to apply later this spring for a waiver from Gov. Hoeven and the Department of Public Instruction, requesting the district not to be required to make up some of the missed time.

Lind said parents and school patrons have been supportive of the administration’s decisions regarding school closings. “We’re thankful for their support and understanding,” he said.

Several area schools also called off classes last week, including Towner, Rolette and Wolford, and like Rugby, they have missed a handful of days.

The timing of last week’s storm couldn’t have been any worse for some parts of the state, especially those battling rising flood waters.

Fargo is bracing for a potential record flood. Volunteers and city officials scrambled to build a dike to hold back the rising Red River which was expected to crest on Friday, March 27.

Beulah, Linton and Mott are among the small communities in western North Dakota contending with flooding as well.

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