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School closures, fender benders flourish from inches of snow
One to two inches of wet snow blanketed Whidbey Island early Friday and resulted in an island-wide shutdown of schools.
The South Whidbey, Central Whidbey and Oak Harbor school districts all announced closures by 7 a.m. The weather was also responsible for several fender benders as police radios squawked through the morning about accidents from Langley to Oak Harbor.
No serious injuries were known as of press time Friday.
The unplanned day off from school was not well received by everyone, including 11-year-old Rachel Harder. She was looking forward to bringing home several presents she and her classmates made to give to her family over the holidays.
But the South Whidbey Elementary School student didn’t let the morning go to waste and spent the morning sledding with her father, David Harder, and dog, Koda, at Community Park on Maxwelton Road.
“I wanted to bring home the presents, but I like the snow,” she said.
The school’s closure added one day to the much anticipated winter break. School will resume Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.
For students at the Whidbey Island Waldorf School, winter break already began Thursday, Dec. 19.
Clinton resident William Dolde took his children, 10-year-old Liam and 7-year-old Crispin, to Community Park on Friday morning as well. Friday was the first day of winter break for the Waldorf students.
“The snow was a good surprise, but the kids weren’t looking for it as much as they would be during school,” he said.
Liam and Crispin brought sleds, snowboards and saucers to the park and raced against each other and their dad.
Others around the community, such as Kent and Tricia Ratekin, enjoyed the first snow of the season with a morning stroll.
Kent Ratekin, a teacher at Langley Middle School, said the snow was a wonderful surprise, along with school being closed.
The couple strolled along Edgecliff Drive to Langley for a coffee while taking photos of the snow.
“It’s fun having it snow like this right before Christmas,” he said.
It didn’t last too long, however, as rain and warmer temperatures began to melt much of the snow Friday.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, rain is expected through the weekend to Monday.
Tuesday is forecast as partly sunny with a high of 44 degrees.