LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - Multiple school systems, including Lafayette Parish, are canceling school on Wednesday and several others are keeping an eye on potential severe set to roll through Acadiana on Wednesday.

"Following the latest weather update and projected enhanced to moderate risk of severe weather in our area tomorrow morning through mid-afternoon, the Lafayette Parish School System has decided to close all schools and facilities on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in the best interest of safety for our students," the school system announced Tuesday evening.

Those storms, which our news partners at KATC are calling a "significant weather threat," could pose a real danger to folks in their homes and on the roads - which is exactly where you don't want students to be, whether riding with parents, driving themselves, or in school buses.

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"Dynamic storm system is expected to develop for Acadiana into Wednesday morning, and especially the northern parishes of our area with a levels 3/4 out of 5 for the possibility of severe storms producing damaging wind 'swaths' & isolated strong (EF2/111mph+) tornadoes, especially into the moderate risk zone from Evangeline/St Landry Parishes northeastward," KATC meteorologist Rob Perillo said in a social media post.

Schools often close during severe thunderstorms due to safety concerns for students, staff, and faculty. Severe thunderstorms can bring hazardous conditions such as strong winds, lightning, heavy rain, and even hail, posing risks to individuals both indoors and outdoors.

Lightning, in particular, is a significant safety concern during thunderstorms. It can strike buildings and cause fires, electrical outages, and damage to infrastructure. Additionally, lightning can pose a threat to individuals outdoors, especially if they are in open areas or near tall objects like trees or metal structures.

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Heavy rain can lead to flooding, making roads impassable and potentially dangerous for travel to and from school. Hail can cause property damage and pose risks to people caught outside.

Closing schools during severe thunderstorms allows students and staff to remain in safer environments, reducing the risk of accidents, injuries, or harm caused by severe weather conditions. It also gives families peace of mind knowing that their children are not exposed to dangerous weather while at school.

School Closures

LAFAYETTE PARISH: LPSS announced Tuesday evening that the entire school system would be shut down Wednesday due to the severe storms expected to come through the region.

Also in Lafayette Parish, according to our news partners at KATC:

UL Lafayette will open at noon April 10 due to expected inclement weather conditions.

First Baptist Christian School in Lafayette will be closed due to the expected severe weather.

Lafayette Christian Academy and Gethsemane Christian Academy will also be closed on Wednesday, according to officials.

All Sugar 'n Spice Children's Academy locations and Vacation Station will be closed.

ACADIA PARISH: All Acadia Parish schools will be closed on Wednesday due to strong storms moving through the area. Schools will reopen on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

IBERIA PARISH: The Iberia Parish school system has announced it will close schools, as well. Their statement is below:

Iberia Parish has been included in an area of enhanced risk for significant tornado activity beginning early Wednesday morning through mid-afternoon. All modes of severe weather are possible including large hail, damaging wind gusts, and strong tornadoes. In order to ensure safety of students and avoid travel in hazardous conditions, Iberia Parish Schools will be closed tomorrow - Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

As of now, district offices will remain open, and the school board meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 5:30 will be held.

JEFF DAVIS PARISH: Assistant Superintendent John Hall announced on Tuesday that all Jeff Davis Parish schools will be closed on Wednesday.

ST. LANDRY PARISH: The SLP school board announced Wednesday evening that they would be closing school Wednesday, as well.

"Due to severe weather forecasted for our area on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, all St. Landry Parish schools and administrative offices will be closed. This closure includes all after-school activities and sports practices. We anticipate resuming regular school hours on Thursday, April 11th."

Opelousas Catholic, Good Shepherd Montessori School, and St. Ignatius Catholic School are also closed, according their principals.

ST. MARTIN PARISH: All schools in St. Martin Parish will be closed on Wednesday, the district announced.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the St. Martin Parish School System has decided to close all schools and facilities Wednesday (April 10, 2024) due to the threat of severe weather," the school said in a statement. "All students and employees are to remain home. The Finance Committee meeting and regular Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon will still take place as scheduled tomorrow. We appreciate everyone's understanding and cooperation. Please stay safe."

VERMILION PARISH: Vermilion Parish did announce that schools will be closed on Wednesday, citing the severe storms throughout Acadiana. Also, "All afterschool activities are canceled until further notice, and after determination of when tomorrow’s weather has passed through the area, we will update this decision," the school system announced.


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Gallery Credit: Rob Kirkpatrick

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