The Leander ISD board of trustees approved employee compensation for days missed due to the winter storm that swept through Texas on Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

In addition to the regular pay approval, the board also approved double pay for auxiliary employees who were required to be on hand during the storm as well as time and a half for employees who worked over 40 hours while the district was out of school.

According to the Superintendent Bruce Gearing, LISD avoided any major damage to its facilities. However, it could take up to two weeks for all of the tree limbs and debris to be removed from campuses.

“We have some magnificent trees in the district that got damaged,” he said. “That was the thing that created more of the mayhem this time than before.”

All 53 campuses were affected by the storm, and by Feb. 9 only eight were free from limbs and debris. So while weather conditions on Feb. 3 were good enough for classes to resume, Gearing said, there was not have enough time to clear safe pathways for students and staff to walk to buildings on campuses.

The district estimates it will cost $90,000 for the rental trailer, wood chipper, labor and other small equipment used to remove the tree limbs.

“It’s fascinating how different these extreme weather events are for us as a district,” Gearing said. “Every time you think you’ve planned adequately, then it throws a curveball at you and something different comes.”