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Westport Public Schools Closed Monday, Feb. 11

Winter+Storm+Nemo+left+roads+impassable+for+some+teachers+outside+of+Westport.+With+so+many+teachers+snowed+in%2C+school+has+been+cancelled+for+Monday%2C+Feb.+11.+
Cheyenne Haslett
Winter Storm Nemo left roads impassable for some teachers outside of Westport. With so many teachers snowed in, school has been cancelled for Monday, Feb. 11.

Suzanne Kammerman, a social studies teacher at Staples, lives in Shelton. For her, Winter Storm Nemo meant a staggering 36 inches of snow, no plows and a tree that fell onto her house on Saturday night.

“We live at the end of a cul-de-sac and about one mile from a main road. No plow has touched the street I live on, or the streets leading to the main road,” she said, adding that she and her family have spent the last two days digging out their driveway. “Reports are saying that it could be days before all roads in Shelton are plowed.”

Kammerman is just one of many Westport Public School employees still snowed in by the storm. According to Superintendent Elliott Landon, it’s largely for this reason that all Westport schools will be closed for students and district employees on Monday, Feb. 11.

In an e-mail sent just before 6:30 p.m., Landon wrote that due to unplowed and impassable roads after this weekend’s blizzard, many district employees who live out of town have been unable to commute to Westport.

“I’m not sure what the situation will be here in the morning, but right now, we’re pretty stuck,” said Lauren Francese, a Bedford Middle School social studies teacher who lives in Stratford. “The roads I take to get to the highway for my commute to work are not plowed, and the Mayor of Stratford has asked people to stay off the roads so public works can do their job.”

According to the National Weather Service, Westport received 24.5 inches of snow after the nor’easter. However, snow totals in other nearby towns where some district employees live ranged vastly; for instance, New Canaan got 22 inches of snow, Monroe had 30 inches of snow and Fairfield received upwards of 35 inches of snow.

“We have shoveled and used a snow blower for hours but still can’t get out of our driveway,” said Megan Gallant, a Bedford Middle School resource teacher who also lives in Stratford.

The prospect of school opening on time—or even delayed—was something none of the teachers looked forward to.

“It would have been really upsetting to have school in session and not be able to get there,” Francese said.

Kammerman agreed: “It’s just a huge relief to not have to worry that school is going on and that I can’t be there.”

Meanwhile, for the teachers and others in the school system (and likely some students and parents in Westport), work remains. For Kammerman, it may be days before the tree that fell on her house can be removed—or even looked at. Still, she said, there’s a lot to be grateful for.

“In the end, we are safe and sound in a house that has power and heat, so I can’t complain too much,” Kammerman said.

 

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Ben Reiser, Managing Editor
Cheyenne Haslett, Web Managing Editor

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