Schools in Holmes County were forced to close on Tuesday, Jan. 9, due to heavy storms–a matter addressed by Superintendent Buddy Brown during a brief School Board meeting the next day.

“I had criticism that I called school off yesterday,” Brown said during the meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 10. “Well, I guess (Washington County School District Superintendent) Joe Taylor and I were geniuses because Joe and I had kind of made the decision about 7 o’clock yesterday morning that we were going in that direction after Joe provided me some insight from the meetings he was having.”

As if to underscore the aftermath of the storm, the School Board meeting was held in the dark since there was still no power at the School Board building that afternoon. The meeting was originally scheduled to be held Tuesday morning when the storm hit but was moved to the next day. 

The Holmes District School Board held a brief meeting in the dark on Wednesday, Jan. 10, since their building was still without power following a heavy storm the day before. [COLLIN BREAUX | Holmes County Advertiser]

“The bottom line is we’re not going to make mistakes when it comes to our employees and our kids’ safety,” Brown said. 

Brown said he got nervous a little Tuesday morning, particularly during tornado warnings.

Brown thanked the District’s IT department for getting internet running at schools, which reopened Wednesday. 

“While we still struggled a little bit with our generator power, we’ve managed to have our internet up at our schools for the day,” Brown said. “Our schools have been able to function.”

School buses were not running on dirt roads, though that may resume Friday. 

“I have had a couple of negative comments from a couple of people,” Brown said. “They do not understand the weight of a school bus is high-centered. We’re not going to put kids in danger’s way. ‘Well, my mom can go down the road in a van.’ Well, a bus ain’t your van.” 

The School Board said in a Facebook post on Thursday, Jan. 11m they are monitoring the forecast for Friday’s potential storms.  

“Currently the National Weather Service forecast indicates that Friday’s event will not be the same severity as Tuesday’s storms,” the School Board’s post said. “A decision regarding any changes to Friday’s school schedule will be announced by 1:00 p.m. today.”

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