Gilmer issues school delay for two hours in face of severe storms

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ELLIJAY, Ga. – With warning continuing to come in from the National Weather Service and public safety officials, Gilmer Schools has issued a statement to plan on a two-hour delay for school on Thursday, March 18, 2021.

According to the statement released, “The National Weather Service has warned that our county is expected to experience severe weather overnight and into the early morning hours just before and during our normal morning bus routes. The strongest storm bands show potential to generate damaging winds, hail, and tornados. In the interest of safety, please plan for a two-hour delayed start of school Thursday morning March 18, 2021.”

The school system clarified that bus routes and parent drop-off are also affected, so parents should not drop students off at normal times to wait for class to begin. However, they are planning to dismiss at the normal time in the afternoon.

While the National Weather Service has not issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area at this time, they did issue a statement just before noon saying, “Scattered to numerous strong to severe storms are expected late today through tonight with an approaching strong disturbance and frontal system. While there is some potential for severe storms as early as this afternoon, the primary risk will likely be with an area of storms pushing eastward late tonight into Thursday morning. The main threats will be tornadoes (some of which could be significant or longer tracked), damaging winds over 60 mph, large hail, and flash flooding.”

The decision to delay class is in place for now, but the school system did state that this response could increase if need be, saying, “We will plan to confer with Emergency Management officials in the early morning hours on Thursday and if conditions require a cancellation, this information will be updated.”

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