COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Branch County today entered its third straight day with below zero temperatures. The last time it was at zero or above was just before nine o’clock Monday morning. The official low this morning was 13-below zero but wind chill values were not a problem with calm conditions contrary to Monday and Tuesday when it felt like it was 35 below to 40 below zero. Icy roads have been the issue since yesterday after the accumulated snow had been scraped away, the left over snowpack became polished by travel, leaving drivers to negotiate very icy surfaces. That’s part of the equation that prompted Branch County school officials yesterday afternoon to decide that classes should be cancelled for today, making it 3 straight days with no school, extending the holiday break that started December 20th.
Governor Rick Snyder has signed a new school closing law. The measure will allow districts to extend days instead of extending the school year if they exceed the allotted number of cancellation days. Districts can cancel up to six school days a year and the new law allows administrators to lengthen existing days rather than schedule makeup days. Michigan law requires districts to provide 170 days and approximately eleven-hundred hours to qualify for funding.