Winter’s first snow storm shuts down much of the county as 3-5 inches falls on Tuesday

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Much of Switzerland County has been waiting for the season’s first snow storm to hit – and after some unseasonably warm weather at the beginning of the winter season, the first blast of winter weather hit on Tuesday afternoon.

The winter season got started over the weekend as temperatures fell into single digits through the nighttime hours; and some spotty snow showers fell throughout the weekend.

But weather forecasters braced everyone for the snow storm on Tuesday – and it hit right on schedule.

Schools experienced a two-hour delay on Monday and Tuesday because school officials didn’t want children on buses in the frigid weather before sunrise. Once the snow began on Tuesday, the decision was made at 12:30 p.m. to send children home early, and by the time bus drivers were located and buses got to the schools, everyone headed home at 2 p.m.

The girls sectional basketball tournament was suppose to start in Milan on Tuesday night, but those games were postponed until Wednesday; and every other event going on in Switzerland County was canceled as people chose to stay inside rather than fighting the weather.

School superintendent Tracy Caddell said that a state rule prohibits schools from counting a day in which they start late and leave early, so school children may have to make up the Tuesday day if he cannot secure a waiver from the Department of Education for the day.

School lunch was served on Tuesday, which is normally the measuring stick for whether or not a day is counted by the state. Children also were in class for four hours, which is considered a half day.

County highway workers hit the roads with snow plows and salt and other chemicals to combat the ice and snow; and by Wednesday many of the main roads had been cleared, but freezing temperatures still prevailed around the county.

The extended weather forecast by the National Weather Service is saying that Switzerland County shouldn’t see anymore snow until possibly next Monday; and temperatures are expected to rise into the high 20s and low 30s during the daytime hours. Tonight (Thursday) is promising to be a cold one, with a estimated low of seven degrees; and overnight temperatures will remain in the teens throughout the weekend.

The best way to combat the cold temperatures and slick conditions is to simply stay inside unless you have to go out, according to county officials.

Those needing emergency services during the storm should contact local law enforcement: the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office at 427-3636; the Vevay Police Department at 427-3737; or call 911 emergency.

Pets should have special attention paid to them, especially those animals that are kept outside. Check on neighbors by telephone or with a visit, especially elderly neighbors and those who are living alone.