School bus drivers have more than cold to deal with in Conneaut

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CONNEAUT, Ohio -- Heavy snow blanketed the City of Conneaut while kids were on Christmas break, and it's still here more than a week later.

"We’re in the heart of the snow belt," said Lori Riley, superintendent for Conneaut Area City Schools.

The snow piled high and frozen solid on the school buses wasn't much of a surprise to the district's bus drivers when they got to the lot early in the morning.

Superintendent Riley had already called for a two-hour delay Tuesday afternoon.

"There hadn’t been any snow removal in the district since last Friday so their normal morning time would not have been enough," Riley explained.

The bus drivers really needed those extra two hours to get the buses ready for kids. They said it took about 15 minutes to clear off each bus.

"Making sure that they are starting, making sure the heat is working and making sure that they are not going to cause a hazard for anyone else that would be driving around them," Riley said.

Riley is always in communication with other school administrations across Ashtabula County.

"There’s good communication and support across the county because pretty much the weather here is the weather all the way across I-90," she said.

Riley says she tries not to close school for the minor weather events or if it's safe for kids to still come in because she knows the weather could get a lot worse as the winter goes on.

But she says there is never a perfect decision, and parents can do what they think is best for their child.

"It’s always parent discretion so if students have some health concerns we want them to keep them home and keep them well," she said.

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