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School closures announced as winter storm looms

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

Schools across Sarnia-Lambton will be closed Friday as a major winter storm is forecast for the region.

“Based on the most recent information from Environment Canada regarding ongoing weather conditions and anticipated road conditions throughout the day, the Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) is closing all schools and LKDSB facilities, including the Chatham and Sarnia Education Centres on Friday, December 23, 2022 to ensure the safety of all students and staff,” the board announced late Thursday, adding there will be no remote learning.

“The decision was made after careful consideration based on the information available at the time and we appreciate everyone’s understanding of this process. We understand that whenever there is a school closure, it can be difficult for families to accommodate. The safety and well-being of students and staff are top priorities for the LKDSB.”

A similar message was issued by the St. Clair Catholic District School Board, late Thursday.

“St. Clair Catholic is taking the unusual step of closing schools in advance of the storm, for the safety of students and staff, due to potentially treacherous travel, as a result of the storm,” the board stated. “As tomorrow is the last day of school before the Christmas break, voluntary online learning will be suspended for the day. Child care centres in schools will also be closed.”

Environment Canada warned Thursday that ‘travel will become hazardous’ into the weekend, with damaging winds, extensive blowing snow, and flash-freeze conditions.

Temperatures are expected to plummet Friday morning, leading to a potential flash freeze, the agency said.

Lambton Public Health issued a cold weather alert Thursday based on based on the latest forecast from Environment Canada predicting extreme weather conditions for Friday, Dec. 23 and Saturday, Dec. 24.

Rapidly falling temperatures will be accompanied by damaging winds along with extensive snow and frigid wind chills, persisting into the weekend.

Wind gusts of 90km to 100 km will create widespread blowing snow, reducing visibility, with snow amounts of five to 15cm expected by Friday night.

“Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve,” Environment Canada said. “Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow. If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop.”

 

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