• Last modified 483 days ago (Jan. 16, 2020)


Mother Nature pulls a punch

Ice, snow not as bad as predicted for county

Staff writer

Despite a foreboding weather forecast Friday that led to canceled classes and sports events for area students, the weekend weather was not as bad as predicted.

High winds, ice, and three to six inches of snow were projected Friday and Saturday, resulting in a press release from the state discouraging travel in Marion County.

While parts of Marion County were icy Friday, nowhere in the county had more than an inch of snow over the weekend, according to weather reports.

The preemptive weather warning, however, was enough that Marion, Hillsboro, Centre, and Peabody-Burns school districts all closed and sent students home by 1:30 p.m.

All Friday and Saturday sporting events were canceled or postponed.

“If it were during games then it’s having all the kids in a school bus on icy roads,” Peabody parent Tom Spencer said. “In that case, canceling is very good.”

As a stay at home parent, Hillsboro resident Staci Silhan said it’s important to make herself available to help other families.

“I thought that would be a possibility, but nobody did,” she said. “I have helped out friends in the past, and I don’t know what the school does when parents can’t get there in time.”

When Silhan’s children got sick, she said they stayed in the nurse’s office until she was able to drive the hour back from Wichita.

The severe weather possibility concerned Spencer with his children walking home from Peabody-Burns Middle/High School.

“There aren’t very good sidewalks in Peabody, and they have to walk on the street,” he said. “I imagine it would be a concern of other parents who have kids walking home from school, even in Marion and Hillsboro, because of conditions.

Road conditions were especially concerning regarding high school drivers, Silhan said.

“That worries me to have a high school student who’s not as experienced on the ice,” she said. “A lot of them might have front-wheel or four-wheel drive.”

A downed tree was reported 4:08 p.m. Friday blocking one lane of traffic on Nighthawk Rd. between 110th and 120th Rds., but the matter took half an hour for county employees to respond and eventually move the tree off the road.

County engineer Brice Goebel could not be reached for comment.

Last modified Jan. 16, 2020