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Icy roads have school buses on the skids

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Icy roads have school buses on the skids
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Icy conditions in Becker and Otter Tail counties put school officials and parents in a scramble mode to get students home on Tuesday afternoon.

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Bus service in the Detroit Lakes and Frazee-Vergas school districts has been curtailed because of the slick roads.

Instant Alerts sent out from both districts informed parents that buses would not travel on icy roads. That mostly affected travel on gravel roads in the area.

Eight school buses in Detroit Lakes got stuck Tuesday afternoon. That prompted Superintendent Doug Froke to inform parents that school buses would only travel on tar roads.

Nobody was injured in any of the incidents.

"The condition of the gravel roads were not good," Froke said.

Ted Anderson, owner of Anderson Bus Co of Frazee that serves the Frazee-Vergas District, said that five or six buses got stuck on Tuesday morning, but none slid off of the road.

"It was tough going," Anderson said.

Froke said that the tar roads fared better because of chemicals applied to them and the fact that temperatures were hovering right at the freezing mark.

With school being cancelled Monday despite temperatures near 30 and not having to deal with an ice storm that fizzled out, Froke said that deciding whether to cancel school or not is tricky.

"This is one of the most difficult issues I had to face with school cancellations," Froke said. "The roads are just horrible."

Icy conditions Wednesday morning prevented buses from traveling on gravel roads.

Froke said that the district was in a "wait-and-see" mode before a decision will be made on whether to limit bus service after school Wednesday.

Anderson said that buses for Frazee-Vergas would keep to ice-free roads, at least until after school on Wednesday.

"We pretty much know where the safe roads are right now," Anderson said.

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