PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – This Presidents’ Day should have been a day off for students in New Kensington and Arnold.
Instead, it’s a weather make-up day.
“So far, we’ve had three cancellations,” said Superintendent Dr. John Pallone. “So far we’ve had five delays.”
Pallone was on the line with public works over the weekend about Monday.
“And they forewarned that we may have a delay, even a possible cancellation because they were running low on salt,” he said.
By Monday morning, it was beyond low.
“We ran out completely this morning,” said Larry Davis, who runs heavy equipment for New Kensington Public Works.
By noon, 120 tons of salt was delivered directly from railroad cars.
“Right now we’re trying to make it a 60-40 mixture with salt and sand,” Davis said.
But even mixing sand with salt won’t go too far.
“That would get us through about a 1 or 2-inch snow storm,” Davis said.
And school bus driver Shari Nance says the ride is getting rougher.
“It’s getting worse as the winter goes on and there’s just nothing that anybody can do,” she said.
For Moms like Shawnee Lookhart, who has four children in school, unscheduled days off are a test.
“It makes it very inconvenient, because I have to take hours off of work,” she said.
Says Superintendent Pallone, “We’ll see what kind of salt supplies they do have and what their expectations are.”
“We’ll have to see about that for now,” says City Councilman Timothy DeMaio, who oversees Public Works. “If we get that 6 inches, I’ll be out plowing most of the night – not salting.”
The Superintendent believes that there is still enough time to get all 180 mandated days of school in, but whether you’re running a district or trying to find salt, this has been one tough winter.