Massive snowfall gave public school kids in Florence an unplanned holiday. About three-quarters of the roads in Florence-Carlton School District didn't get plowed in time. It started as a two hour delay and finally moved to a decision to cancel altogether.
Florence is digging out from a good 17 inches of snow.
When other schools closed in Ravalli County Monday, Florence schools were open. County crews unplugged roads early that day.
"Today was a different story though," said Florence-Carlton School Superintendent John McGee. "I like to commend the county road crew for all the hard work they're putting in."
Florence School District has grown.
Once sparsely populated rural roads that need plowing have increased.
"You have a population where there was once none," said McGee, "and today it's a rural community that struggles when you have storm events like this."
McGee said the district thought it was safer to keep kids off bad roads. Whether taking the school bus, or having their parents drive them.
Parent Nathan Lemieux lives a little more than a mile from the school. His kids could have made it to schools easily. But he's glad they cancelled.
The late notice sent many worried working parents scrambling to find babysitters.
Stephanie Lemieux took her kids to work with her. The children, Madison and Austin also used part of the day to create a volcano from made icicles in the snow.