As the snow fell Monday morning, Dec. 2, it covered roads throughout Mitchell County, particularly up Roan Mountain, near the Tennessee Line.
Although a picturesque view, it meant another snow day for kids at Mitchell County Schools.
“We just look at all the roads in the district,” said Transportation Director Mark Hughes.
Hughes added that a lot goes into their decision on whether to close school or not.
“We start that process about 3:45 to 4 o’clock in the morning,” he said.
First, they check the weather. Then, talk with DOT, emergency management and other school districts. Finally, they actually drive the roads to see the conditions firsthand.
“We try to collaborate all that information and bring it back to our superintendent who makes the final decision about closing schools,” said Hughes.
Sometimes no school leads to more business for local shops.
Across town, the inside of Ledger Ace Hardware is stocked with snow day supplies.
From shovels to heaters, to sleds and bird seed, owner Roger Gouge said it’s been busy there already this winter season.
“We’ve sold a bunch of stuff like that this morning,” said Gouge.
And that will most likely continue through the next few months.
“When it gets snowy, it’s busy. It falls off a little but if you get a freeze, a hard freeze, or something like that, we really pick up,” added Gouge.
The same can be said for DOT workers.
We found several trucks out on the roads this morning.
Many of them working around the clock and already preparing for what another day in Mitchell County could bring, whether that means school or not.
“We'll just look at the conditions, how they are, and the weather conditions over the next few hours to determine that,” said Hughes.
Right now, Mitchell County Schools will be on a three hour delay Tuesday, Dec. 3.