Students Get Another Snow Day While Motorists Get Slippery Highways

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Students in Payson and Pine got another day off school today, as about three inches of snow fell from around 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. and blanketed the ground.

Schools in Payson and Pine may have closed schools this morning, but in Pine students will have to make up the two snow days they have received so far this winter.

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Kathy and Frank Schrecks, photo left, are returning a neighbor's favor by shoveling their driveway on this snowy day.

Officials with the Pine School said students would give up two of their spring recess days, April 4 and 7, to make up for the snow days.

Susan Everhart with the Payson School District said students in Payson schools would also make up snow days sometime in the spring.

"A strong Pacific storm system will continue to affect northern Arizona today (Friday, Feb. 15). Moderate to heavy snowfall accumulations are expected across portions of central Arizona...especially over the eastern Mogollon Rim..." said the National Weather Service Web site.

The National Weather Service calls for a 100 percent chance of continued snow today, with accumulations of three to five inches possible with a high of about 43 degrees and a low of around 26 tonight.

It predicts rain tomorrow, with a high of about 53 degrees and clearing through Tuesday.

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Getting rid of the wet stuff A local, small plow helps the city of Payson by keeping the median and other streets clear of the slushy, slippery snow Friday, Feb. 15, photo above. Three to five inches of snow fell overnight with more expected throughout the day.

The Gila County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) in Payson said that at the time this went to press, there were no serious accidents reported Friday morning, but a lot of people were "slipping and sliding" on roads in and around town.

The spokesperson said DPS had received reports of slippery conditions and motorist troubles in all directions.

"We have had calls from near Oxbow Estates, Christopher Creek and the first curve on Highway 87 as you go north out of Payson," said DPS.

Payson Police reported the same conditions in Payson.

DPS in Payson said there were no road closures or restrictions on Highways 260 or 87 coming into or leaving Payson, but a check with the Arizona Department of Transportation Web site said there was a restriction on Highway 260 from milepost marker 277 near Young to milepost marker 302 from 4:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday.

Crossings on Tonto Creek in Tonto Basin have been closed since the Feb. 4 storm and a spokesperson with GCSO said they are unsure how long they will remain closed, especially with today's and tomorrow's added rain and snow.

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