Districts plan ahead as storm approaches

SALEM — Citing dire predictions of ice, snow, plummeting temperatures and horrible driving conditions for later today, area schools announced Thursday night that they’re shutting down early this afternoon, with Salem City Schools not opening at all today.

The news lit up social media as schools utilized their all-call systems, websites, Facebook, Twitter and whatever other means they could muster to get the word out to parents: kids are coming home early so plan accordingly.

Salem was the only local school to announce it would be closed today. The Salem high school boys basketball junior varsity and varsity games against Carrollton will have to wait, too, with tonight’s road games postponed until Feb. 13. The Sebring High School boys and girls varsity basketball doubleheader against Mineral Ridge set for tonight has been postponed until Saturday night. The Lisbon boys matchup against East Palestine has been reset for Feb. 6 and the Crestview boys game against Lowellville is reset for Jan. 20.

As of Thursday night, nothing had been announced regarding area high school girls basketball games scheduled for Saturday afternoon, except for Carrollton’s NBC matchup with Louisville being cancelled. West Branch Middle School basketball games against Carrollton Saturday morning are postponed until Jan. 27.

Area schools who announced they’re closing two hours early today include West Branch, Sebring, Leetonia, Columbiana, Lisbon, Crestview and United. South Range announced a plan to close one hour early. Information on times is posted on the school websites and social media sites. All this information was as of Thursday night.

The city of Salem and the villages of Leetonia and Lisbon all announced snow emergency parking bans will take affect this afternoon, with Salem’s starting at 4 p.m., Leetonia’s at 5 p.m. and Lisbon’s at 7 p.m., meaning vehicles must be parked off the streets due to the amount of snowfall expected. The bans for Salem and Leetonia are scheduled to expire at 6 p.m. Saturday, with Lisbon’s ending at 3 p.m. Saturday.

In Salem, vehicles have been towed for parking on the streets if owners can’t be located to move them.

Anyone who must travel should check weather reports, check to see if an event is still being held before venturing out and use caution when driving.