School leaders to make storm calls today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 28, 2012

AES students practice a tornado drill Monday.

School officials said they expect to make a decision on whether they’ll close schools on Wednesday by this afternoon, in light of the potential for heavy rains and isolated tornadoes associated with Isaac.

Andalusia City Schools Superintendent Ted Watson said he hopes to let parents know by mid-afternoon today if school will be in session on Wednesday.

“It looks like the path has taken a more westward turn,” he said. “The amount of rainfall predicted has decreased. We feel like we will have time to make a call by mid-afternoon. With the new school calendar, we don’t want to call school unless we absolutely have to with the limited number of days available for makeup, but safety is our No.1 concern.”

Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart said OCS officials plan to go Wednesday.

“We’ll just have to see,” Smithart said. “We can judge more (today) about Wednesday. We’re going unless something drastic changes.”

Monday’s update from LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel said, “the latest weather forecasts predict a reduced impact of Tropical Storm Isaac in our area from previous forecasts. While they are still calling for showers and storms to pick up as the outer spiral bands around Isaac begin to affect us, these are not likely to be as severe as was feared earlier.”

“At this point, the college will remain open and classes will be held as usual on Tues., Aug. 28,” he said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and make any adjustments if needed. We also need to remain vigilant regarding the possibility of tornadoes, which are expected to be EF-0s and of short duration, but nevertheless need to be taken seriously.”

Covington County Schools Superintendent Terry Holley did not return the Star-News’ phone calls before press time.