The Calhoun County, Oxford City, Anniston City and Jacksonville City schools will be closed on Friday due the potential of severe weather and all after-school activities are canceled.
School Superintendent Dr. Jose Reyes posted the announcement on the district’s social media page shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday night.
Reyes said he had made the decision after conferring with the director of school safety and watching the latest updates from the National Weather Service.
The NWS in Birmingham issued a Severe Weather Advisory Outlook at 3 p.m. Thursday citing the possibility of 50 miles per hour winds after midnight Thursday and the potential of severe thunderstorms, 60 miles per hour wind gusts and tornadoes through early Friday afternoon. The threat of storms dissipate after noon, but the threat of damaging wind gusts remain through Friday night.
The timing of the threat to the local area is from 8 a.m. until noon Friday and falls under the “slight risk category” according to the NWS forecast.
“Our most prominent concern is the rapid warming of the temperature/atmosphere after lunch and the unpredictability that this will cause,” Reyes said. “Coupled with the certain forecast of extremely high winds, I would rather err on the side of caution as we have over 115 school buses and numerous student drivers on the road. Furthermore, high winds in the past have affected us in the area of power outages at our schools.”
Reyes said he made the decision early to allow time to make appropriate arrangements rather than have to do so in the early hours of the morning.
Oxford, Anniston and Jacksonville posted their decisions shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday.
Staff Writer Brian Graves: 256-236-1551.