East Tennessee school bus drivers prepare for cold temperatures

Drivers getting up early to make sure the buses will run

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – School bus drivers in East Tennessee will get up extra early Tuesday to make sure students get to class safely due to the cold temperatures.

“We’re ready to go. Parents have a lot of trust in us and we don’t want to let them down,” said Bill Gentry, the president of Gentry Bus Lines.

School closings and delays

Eighty Knox County buses failed to start in freezing temperatures two years ago. Gentry doesn’t want that to happen again.

“We’ve got everything here pretty under control,” he said.

Gentry says his team will be on the yard by 5 a.m. warming buses so everything will move smoothly by the time the first set of kids need to be picked up at around 6:30 a.m.

“We’re just trying our best to do our job,” said Gentry.

Gentry says he even fired up the buses for a few hours Monday to get a head start.

“Doing the best job we can do to get our children to and from school,” he said.

Fuel additives were added to the diesel fuel as well, preventing it from turning into a jelly-like substance.

Knox County Schools spokeswoman Melissa Tindell says parents will be notified through the parent notification system and through local media, like WATE 6 On Your Side. If school is delayed or cancelled, they say to watch for alerts on cell phones or phone calls.

The district says each weather event is handled case by case basis.

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