expert, school bus driver must be one of the
most stressful jobs around. (And if a bomb
disposal expert is around, we have bigger
issues than weather to worry about.)
But, this is serious stuff, people. Early
advisories are important for the many who
are affected by bus transportation. When a
Did you get a chance to check out those
“snow rolls” that popped up a few weeks
bus run is cancelled, parents have to worry
about who will look after the kids, and kids
But before you cue the pan flutes,
While you debate that contentious topic
They were everywhere, appearing out
have to start preparing how to spend this
remember that Mother Nature can be fickle,
among yourselves, let us agree that no
of the blue on fields, pastures, lawns,
bonus day, a Saturday in the middle of the
and sometimes downright mean.
snow is no good.
As usual, we have had the mixed bag of
The cylinders, in various sizes, looked
extremes this winter, although this has been
All school systems have mechanisms in
a protective cover for fields.
as if they had fallen from the heavens. At
a particularly dangerous season on area
place to “make the call” to can
Of course, no snow is bad news for the
first glance, one suspected a hoax, along
roads. Beforewe reached the end of January,
many outdoor sports enthusiasts, snow
transportation, and to communicate that
the lines of crop circles.
removal contractors, snowmobile and
decision to the public.
But these oddities were obviously not
accidents in our district.
snowblower vendors, and sports
This school year, Student Transportation
the work of humans; these were the
Weather is always a possible factor in
of Eastern Ontario (STEO), the
creations of a power far stronger than
almost any mishap. Obviously, motorists
transportation consortium for the Catholic
must constantly be conscious of the hazards
snow-wise, however, we have had a large
Mother Nature, that ubiquitous force
District School Board of Eastern Ontario
posed by ice and snow.
number of “snow days,” when school bus
with a weird sense of humour, was at
(CDSBEO) and the Upper Canada District
However, at times the absence of snow
transportation has been cancelled but
School Board (UCDSB), says it has
can contribute to trouble.
schools have remained open.
As everyone by now knows, snow rolls
improved the way bus cancellations are
For example, just after Christmas, a
The few times we hear Prescott-Russell
are fashioned when wet snow is propelled
Vankleek Hill house burned down on a
mentioned on the big-city radio stations
by winds across flat surfaces. They are the
frigid day when sub-zero winds were
“STEO has worked vigorously to
are when weather reports and school bus
wintry equivalent of tumbleweed. Once a
lashing the area. The tenant believed that a
improve communication with parents and
advisories are broadcast.
particle of snow starts to roll, it has a sort
lack of snow, which was used as a natural
students about decisions to cancel busing
But this winter it seems that we have
of snowball effect.
insulator, may have led to water pipes
been receiving a lot of airtime because
if snowy or icy conditions make bus travel
But the rolls, or “snow pipes,” rarely
freezing. When the owner tried to thaw the
school bus cancellations have been very
appear because their formation relies on
unsafe,” said Ron Cotnam, STEO’s General
pipes, a heater contacted dry material and
common so far this year.
the proper combination of temperature,
Manager and Chief Administrative Officer,
the blaze started. Fortunately, nobody was
Better safe than sorry.
moisture and wind velocity.
in a statement recently.
Yes, if you have seen a snow roll, you
See the next page, please.
What is the proper amount of snowfall?
are indeed blessed.
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