Local governments and schools prepare for blizzard

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Many schools have already burned through their allotted snow-days, creating a dilemma.

K-12 students need to be in classes 180 days a year no matter what. This has been a rough winter and as schools rack-up the snow days, the closer they’re getting to running out.

While kids may jump for joy at the thought of snow days, they may not be excited to learn those called days off may no longer be freebies. Schools in Niagara Falls are just two days away from being forced to cut into spring vacation.

“We look at other days on the calendar that students were not supposed to be in attendance and make that an attendance day,” said Niagara Falls Schools Superintendent Cynthia Bianco.

In Lockport, Ashley Cronkhite’s kindergartner Roland only has one day left and it may ended up getting used Wednesday. Cronkhite’s hoping school officials make the call the night before, rather than the day of the storm.

“That way we can plan for babysitters because I have to work full time. It makes it easier,” said Cronkhite.

A blizzard warning is in effect until 2:00 a.m. Thursday for Chautauqua, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Erie counties. The storm could be worse, moving closer to Lake Ontario. County offices are already closed Wednesday in Niagara County. Only essential personnel will report to work.

“It’s a little bit unusual. In the past five years, before this, I think we only had about two closures. This year there has already been a closure and this is another closure on top of that,” said Niagara County Public Information Officer Christian Peck.

At this point, many Western New Yorkers say they’ve seen enough snow this winter.

“This winter for me has been depressing. I’m done with it,” said Lockport resident Connie Kipp.

“I’m tired of it. I’m ready to get back to work. I work outside and you just can’t do nothing out here when it’s cold like this. It’s been such a long winter. I can’t get ahead,” said Lockport resident Pete Wolcott.

But there will always be at least someone who enjoys seeing the flakes fall.

“I’m kind of happy it’s snowing. It’s nice. We haven’t had weather like this since I was four,” said Barker resident Rebecca Cooner.

Most schools attempt to make the decision to close by 6 a.m. 

Erie County government offices will also be closed Wednesday.  Only essential employees are expected to report to work.

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