Editorial: It was a good call

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When a school district cancels classes, it&8217;s not an easy decision.

Some might wonder why the Albert Lea School District let school out in the morning when the blizzard was fierce, rather than keeping students in school in hopes of more favorable weather later in the school day. After all, the National Weather Service forecast for a while Tuesday said the storm would pass by 3 p.m., right?

Letting the kids go home was the right decision because the National Weather Service, at about 9:30 a.m. when the decision about Albert Lea schools was made, had Albert Lea in a winter storm advisory &8212; simply telling us we would get some snow soon. A look out the window made it clear a blizzard had descended upon the city.

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So knowing the National Weather Service lacked an on-the-ground perspective of Albert Lea, it made sense to get the children home as soon as possible.

Besides, in the past when the school held the children, some parents didn&8217;t like that either.

Furthermore, most local people woke up Tuesday morning thinking a storm would bring some snow to Freeborn County and most of the expected storm would pass to the east. Instead, a blizzard socked Freeborn County.

The storm hit Albert Lea shortly after 9 a.m. and the National Weather Service didn&8217;t place Freeborn County in a blizzard warming until 11 a.m.

Not only was the forecast dead wrong, the current conditions were incorrect, too.

School officials made a proper call with little information to go on except looking out the window and talking with the bus company. If anything, they should be commended.