Centralia Fireside Guard

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Four weather days: how one superintendent evaluates the roads

Posted on Friday, February 19, 2021 at 2:35 pm

R-VI’s Chancellor has 3 criteria

A square-toed cowboy boot kicks some snow away from ice-covered gravel on Lakeview, a mile and change west of Centralia.

“See, fluffy snow like this won’t turn slick when it freezes,” Steven Chancellor, R-VI superintendent of schools said prior to finishing is evaluation of the district’s bus routes.

R-VI Superintendent Steven Chancellor checking a road surface one one of the district’s bus routes.

When asked how he evaluated road conditions when deciding to call off school, Chancellor said he used three criteria.

  • “Can I see the road. For example, on Wednesday, north of town, I was not sure where the road was, so I kept steady pressure on the gas and kept on going in straight direction. After 150 feet or so, I hit gravel and knew I was back on. Being able to see the ditches is an important thing. Especially younger drivers who tend to drift off to the side If you don’t know where the ditch is, that’s a dangerous thing”
  • Tracks on the road and in peoples’ driveways. “If there are tracks in peoples’ driveways, that is means people are going somewhere. My cue people are comfortable travelling, if you feel comfortable going out, we should have school.
  • ”I look for intersections and the ability to stop safely. Busses are constantly starting and stopping, so our ability to take off without much trouble is important.”

Keep in mind, most of this evaluation takes place between 3:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., though he does make the occasional afternoon evaluation as he did, Thursday, Feb. 18, at what was the end of R-VI’s four-day weather cancellation.

For the complete article see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.