Students in Perrysburg woke up Wednesday for the fifth time in the past month to a snow day. Even though we haven’t had as much snow volume as last year, snow days are piling up.
I’ve heard from many people who are surprised how often school has been canceled this year because of a few inches of snow or a seemingly small amount of ice on the ground. The reasoning is last winter is still causing havoc on us. Because so much salt was used last year throughout the northern United States, the price of road salt jumped from $32 per ton last year to $105 this year for communities seeking to buy supplies.
The price jump, in turn, means local governments aren’t able to buy as much salt as last year and aren’t using it as frequently or on all stretches of roads as in the past. The City of Perrysburg, for example, salts only intersections until a storm is finished.
“Communities saying they are only salting intersections so people can stop safely, but we have a moving intersection every 30 feet (on the bus route),” said Tom Hosler, Perrysburg Schools superintendent, during this week’s school board meeting. “Yea, we may only get three inches, but there is snow or ice on the roads that are dangerous.”
Last year was drastic with a polar vortex hitting the Midwest in January. Perrysburg Schools had seven snow days in January and 13 overall last winter. A Toledo record of 40.1 inches of snow in January of 2014 contributed to all the snow days, that was in conjunction with bitter freezing cold.
This year, it hasn’t reached last year’s cold or snowfall, but without as much salt, it’s leading to nearly the same amount of snow days. The awful winter of 2014 is still haunting us.