January 23, 2014

Whitfield, Murray schools on two-hour delay Friday (Updated 5:30 p.m.)

Dalton city schools on regular schedule

By Christopher Smith

— Whitfield County Schools and Murray County Schools will be on a two-hour delay Friday morning because of expected cold temperatures, officials said. The area is under a wind chill advisory until 10 a.m.

Dalton Public Schools will be on a regular operating schedule, said spokeswoman Pat Holloway.

Holloway said the reason the city school system is not delaying is because there won’t be much of a temperature difference between regular pickup times at 6:30 a.m. and a two-hour delay at 8:30 a.m.

According to the National Weather Service, wind chills could be as low as minus 3 degrees. The high for the day is not expected to exceed 29 degrees, with a low near 17.

The cold weather — what some have dubbed a “polar vortex” — is the result of unusual low pressure that continues to push typically northern air as far south as parts of Florida.

Holloway said due to the tight layout of city neighborhoods, bus drivers pick up students in large groups as opposed to stopping house-by-house. She said “picking students up in pods” should cut down on the time students are exposed to frigid morning air.

“Parents definitely need to be sure that their students are wearing warm coats and bundled up,” she said.