Several Spartanburg County school districts had some issues with buses not starting Thursday morning because of extreme cold temperatures, but students were able to get to school on time because of a two-hour delay.
Superintendents made the decision for schools to start later Wednesday afternoon after the National Weather Service forecast lower than normal temperatures for Thursday morning. School officials said they didn't want students to stand outside in frigid temperatures while waiting to catch buses.
A joint statement released by the county's seven superintendents said the temperatures created safety concerns for students, and the delay allowed for buses and schools to be heated properly.
The temperature Thursday morning was in the teens across the Upstate.
District 5 tweeted Thursday morning that 10 buses had trouble starting because of the cold weather, but drivers were able to get the buses started and warmed up for students.
“Luckily, we were prepared for the transportation issues, since those type of problems tend to pop up when temperatures are so low,” said Melissa Robinette, director of public relations for District 5. “We did have some minor power, phone and Internet issues briefly in isolated locations of particular schools, but those issues were resolved rather quickly by Duke Energy.”
Spartanburg Districts 1 and 2 had some minor mechanical problems with buses but were able to resolve them quickly.
School officials in District 4 said personnel began checking buses beginning at 6 a.m. to make sure they would be ready to run routes. The district also had technicians check the heating systems at each school to make sure they were working properly.Sally Hammond, chief communications officer with District 7, said the district had weather-related issues with two buses, but all routes were on time.
“Fortunately, we crank the buses early and are able to determine if there are problems before they get on the road,” Hammond said.
Schools in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties will be on regular schedules on Friday.