Indianapolis Department of Public Works spokesperson Stephanie Wilson says she’d never seen snowstorms like this in her lifetime.
“So we had the heavy accumulation of snow, and it was wet, heavy snow,” Wilson says. “So we sent our plows out there to move as much as we could before it froze. Because once it froze, it became really hard, a hard layer of compacted ice – and as people drove on top of it, it became even more compacted. So it was like cement on our roads, inches thick.”
The subzero temperatures meant that even the salt that snow crews spread on the streets couldn’t eat through the ice. The result? School buses couldn’t get through the slush, and the state’s second largest district has been closed all week. Indianapolis Public Schools organizational strategist Le Boler says there are leaks in several schools, and buses were struggling to get into and out of neighborhoods.
In Bloomington, schools opened Thursday and Friday with two-hour delays. Spokeswoman Beverly Smith says the Monroe County Community School Corporation gets updates from the city and the county on road conditions and sometimes sends its own crews out to assess affected areas.
“I think parents are relieved that we did take precautions, and that we have called the days that we have early enough that they could plan,” Smith says. She commended the snow removal crews in Bloomington as well.
Schools in Indianapolis and Bloomington were expected to be open Monday.
The Indiana Department of Education has said schools may apply for waivers for January 6th and 7th, so they won’t have to make those days up in the school day calendar.