Jocelyn Mitchell had to work from home yesterday when The Pocket Public School, where her children Brooke, 9, and Mostyn, 5, attend, closed due to wet weather.
Jocelyn Mitchell had to work from home yesterday when The Pocket Public School, where her children Brooke, 9, and Mostyn, 5, attend, closed due to wet weather. Cathy Adams

Schools out as rain closes roads

SCHOOL children and horses were the most affected by yesterday’s heavy downpour across the Northern Rivers.

With nearly 90 millimetres of rain falling in the Mullumbimby area by 9am yesterday, The Pocket and Main Arm public schools closed due to flooded roads, leaving parents to quickly change their plans to keep children at home.

Mother-of-two Jocelyn Mitchell, of South Golden Beach, had to rearrange her day to work from home to be with her children Brooke, 9, and Mostyn, 5, who go to The Pocket Public School.

“I can work from home so it’s not that bad,” she said.

“I had meetings that I’ve had to reschedule and I have emails to write, but the kids are playing games or watching TV.

“It gets a little distracting when I have to stop work to make a Vegemite sandwich or the kids are fighting.”

Stephanie Hughes, of Upper Main Arm, has seen lots of flooding in her 16 years of living in the area and shrugged off any difficulties caused by the closure of Main Arm Public School, which saw her daughters Isabella, 11, and Freya, 9, at home.

“We’re set up at home, which is good,” she said.

“A 24-hour flood is no big deal as my husband and I work from home.”

The Ballina Jockey Club postponed the Ballina Tourism and Hospitality Cup due to a wet track, and Ballina Tourism is looking for another date to hold its race day.

“I’ve been sending out lots of emails, making phone calls and crying,” Ballina Tourism and Hospitality secretary Dave Heggie laughed.

“We have to find another day that will fit in with other TAB meetings. Hopefully we will find that ‘silver lining’ in the clouds.”

The Bureau of Meteorology reported a drier than normal April across the Northern Rivers.

“Where a normal rainfall for Casino this time of year is 94.9mm, they only received 43mm,” a bureau spokesperson said.

“It was the same for Murwillumbah, which only received 132mm from a normal 183mm.”

Yesterday up until 4pm, Alstonville received the lion’s share of rainfall with 54mm, followed by Ballina which got nearly 40mm.

The State Emergency Service yesterday issued a flash flood warning for the Northern Rivers, but it was cancelled at 4.25pm



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