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Decision on early school closings seemed clear-cut
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CLOSINGS: Full list of winter weather closings

Even before the first flake fell Sunday, Gainesville and Hall County school officials determined no classes should be held today.

Normally, the area systems wait until snow and ice has packed the roads in the wee morning hours before making such an announcement.

But all the forecasters had this storm bearing down on Georgia with great certainty and a forecast calling for several inches of snow and sleet, followed by ice.

"It's as pretty sure as a weather pattern could be," said Merrianne Dyer, superintendent of Gainesville's school system.

Will Schofield, superintendent of Hall County schools, said, "We didn't see much of a reason to wait."

"Everything we keep seeing, especially from the National Weather Service and (Hall County) Emergency Management, is that it's a 100 percent chance and there may enough snow that we'll see some power outages and related challenges," he said.

"This one looked pretty clear-cut," Schofield said.

"If the wind starts blowing and it's dry tomorrow, we may feel pretty silly, but I think in this particular instance ... this is one you call early."

Dyer added, "Parents and staff also want the decision made as early as possible so they can make plans."

The Hall County and Gainesville systems joined with other area systems, including those in White, Habersham and Forsyth counties, in making the early decision. Click here for a full list of closings.

School officials could talk again about noon today about the weather forecast and whether to close schools Tuesday.

"We told staff in an e-mail that we would make the decision by 4 p.m. (today)," Dyer said.

They'll be looking at the "degree of clearing on the roads and the temperature Monday night," she added.

"It would take a significant amount of clearing and not having any ice."


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