Sudden burst of winter

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Al Key / DRC
A sand truck spreads sand on the Loop 288 exit ramp to US 380 during the snow and freezing precipitation Tuesday January 15, 2013, in Denton.
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Locals surprised by coating of snow, but most roads stay clear

Despite Tuesday’s surprise snow, most schools throughout Denton County started classes at regularly scheduled times.

Jamie Wilson, superintendent for Denton public schools, said district officials felt roads were safe enough to transport children to school Tuesday and opted not to close campuses or delay school openings. Students who arrived late were not penalized, he said.

“We thought it best to move forward and work with our families if there were any delays in getting to campus,” Wilson said.

He said transportation department employees were out early in the morning driving roadways throughout the district to gauge road conditions, and there were no incidents in transporting students to school Tuesday.

District spokeswoman Sharon Cox said that if it ever appears student safety could potentially be jeopardized, school is canceled.

The Lake Dallas, Pilot Point and Aubrey school districts, Denton Calvary Academy and Immaculate Conception Catholic School all reported opening at regular time. Some officials said students were not penalized for arriving to classes late.

At Liberty Christian School in Argyle, school officials first delayed school until 10 a.m., then opted to close for the day. According to the school’s website, evening activities were expected to resume as scheduled.

Rodney Haire, the school’s president and founder, said school officials opted to close Tuesday after learning the winter weather advisory had been extended to noon. Officials thought streets wouldn’t have enough time to be cleared of precipitation by the time families would have needed to be on the road.

Students attending Liberty live as far as Southlake to the south, Decatur to the west, Lewisville to the east and Gainesville to the north, Haire said.

“We have to be cognizant not just of the weather conditions” in Argyle but also surrounding towns, Haire said.

Jamie Gudmestad, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, said accumulation reports from Denton County ranged from less than an inch to nearly 2 inches.

A trained spotter near Krum reported 1 3/4 inches. Flower Mound reported three-fourths of an inch, and Trophy Club reported 1 inch, she said.

The weather service forecasted the snow only shortly before it happened Tuesday, she said. The precipitation has been difficult to predict the last two mornings because computer models have been underestimating the moisture in the air, she said.

Denton police Officer Orlando Hinojosa said officers responded to six accidents Tuesday morning, one of which was a major accident with minor injuries.

In Lewisville, police Capt. Kevin Deaver said officers worked six major accidents and five minor accidents Tuesday morning. No serious injuries occurred, he said.

Sgt. Larry Kish with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office said 65 calls were dispatched Tuesday morning for weather-related issues, including 51 accidents.

According to the weather service, no precipitation is expected for the rest of the week. High temperatures for today through Saturday should reach the lower 50s, while lows will remain in the lower 30s.

Staff writers John D. Harden, Matthew Zabel and Megan Gray contributed to this report.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is btabor@dentonrc.com .


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