I hate trying to call a snow day 24 hours in advance. About the half the time it's an easy call -- as the university ends up agreeing with me. (grin) My theory on Tuesday was "if the roads were this bad before the bulk of the snow fell and the wind picked up tonight, that the roads were going to be bad and worse on Wednesday". And Tuesday night the roads were filled with slideoffs and crashes.
This morning at 6:30am it didn't seem so bad outside, but there were still more than six hours left to the advisories. I-94 near Kalamazoo, which admittedly I don't have to go as far as, ended up closed in two places due to crashes, including one with three semi-trucks with one overturned. Kalamazoo Valley Community College, out by I-94 and Ninth Street, closed last night and canceled classes today as well. But KVCC really is pretty isolated and the winds can be dreadful out there.
At one point WGVU was listing nearly 200 school closures. Allendale, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo schools closed. But school snow days were also a function that today was scheduled to be the schools' second Count Day -- the census of numbers of students attending determines 25% of their next year's funding. The state sent out a memo to school administrators yesterday that they could postpone Count Day by a day if the weather warranted it. I'm sure some of the schools wanted to avoid anything which could diminish their census count.
By 9am, there was bright sun shining in through my living room window. Did I make a mistake? Well, I know from the traffic reports up to 9am that the major highways were reduced to one lane each way. And from previous winters, I can safely predict that the wind they were reporting would be crossing those lanes from east to west, adding to the slipperiness.
So... I probably could've made it to the office today, and certainly back home at night. But I don't know how messy it was in Kalamazoo yet or the problems my students would have getting in to class. And with 4½ hours of driving yesterday, it certainly seemed to be a trend.
Do I feel bad for declaring a Personal Snow Day? Hell no. Sometimes you have to make a call.
Anyway, It Doesn't Matter
The real news is that part of this storm which is hammering the East Coast again. Poor Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia getting whomped on a second time, and I guess New York City will be dumped on this time. Michigan, which can only report some snow, a lot of wrecks and slideoffs and three deaths -- is old news.