Fentress County schools close Thursday for bad weather conditions

JAMESTOWN (WATE) – Several school districts decided to close early Thursday across East Tennessee due to bad weather conditions. Fentress County was one of the first to shut down their schools for the day.

Snow flurries covered Fentress County for most of the day and that started in the early morning hours. Pam Hatfield, who works at Sandy’s Diner in town, doesn’t mind the snow, but said she had concerns when she looked outside Thursday.

“Oh, it was beautiful, just amazing, but then it got like it was coming down really heavy so it kind of got scary,” said Hatfield.

Hatfield’s 4-year-old granddaughter goes to Pine Haven Elementary. She believes it was a good decision for the school district to close early.

“I was probably thinking she’s really excited and you know it’s kind of a dangerous time for the kids,” said Hatfield.

Director of Schools Mike Jones said a number of things contributed to shutting down the schools including black ice, the temperature and crashes on the road.

“Our roads were snow covered this morning, so it was quite an easy decision to get them home as quickly as possible,” said Jones.

Hatfield said she would have preferred the school district to alert parents a little earlier.

“For the working moms, the working grandparents that has custody of their kids and grandkids, they have to get in there and make a decision and sometimes they’re at work,” said Hatfield.

Jones said the district will keep a close eye on the weather and particularly the roads tonight and into the early morning hours. From there, they will decide whether or not to keep the schools closed on Friday.

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