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Inclement weather and predictions of worsening snow accumulations prompt school closures, early releases

DARRYL SWAN - Though roadways such as Columbia River Highway through Scappoose (seen here) remained mostly clear as of Tuesday morning, Feb. 20, weather conditions were expected to worsen by Tuesday afternoon and overnight into Wednesday. Area schools exercised caution by dismissing students early Tuesday. 
Several Columbia County school districts will be releasing students early Tuesday afternoon due to inclement weather and predictions of worsening conditions.

The Scappoose and St. Helens school districts decided to release students early Tuesday, Feb. 20, after weather forecasts point to potential snow accumulation that would make student transportation difficult.

Both districts notified parents and guardians around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday about the decision to let students leave early.

In Scappoose, students will be dismissed at noon after being served lunch, a release from the district stated. School buses are expected to run regular routes, but all after school activities are canceled.

In St. Helens, elementary school students will be released at 11:30 a.m., while middle and high school students will be released at 12:30 p.m. All after school activities are canceled.

A message from the St. Helens School District stated that road checks had been conducted twice in the morning before school started and the roads were safe for travel. Staff at the district made the decision to close while "main roads are still in fair to good shape."

A similar road check was conducted in Scappoose, according to an early morning notification from the Scappoose School District. Road conditions were found to be clear in the morning and "by the time the snow began to stick, buses were already in route to collect students."

The Rainier School District sent students home at 9:15 a.m. and closed its campuses as well. Clastkanie School District canceled school early Tuesday before students arrived.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning that will be in effect until 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. Snow accumulations of 1-2 inches are expected in the early afternoon, while 3-7 inches of accumulation is expected in the evening.

More information about weather conditions, canceled events and potential closures will be published as it becomes available.

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