POWER WORK: Trinity Catholic College staff member Darryl Hurst cleans the St Mary’s site hall after floodwater receded from the school.
POWER WORK: Trinity Catholic College staff member Darryl Hurst cleans the St Mary’s site hall after floodwater receded from the school. Marc Stapelberg

Some schools may stay closed up to Monday: education boss

LISMORE'S Richmond River High School, one of nine Northern Rivers' schools which remained closed yesterday due to flood inundation, may not re-open until Monday in the worst case scenario.

Parents of students at Leeville Public School, south of Casino, and Stratheden Public School, west of Casino, were also advised to check media reports or with their schools this morning after those schools remained closed yesterday.

Peter Campbell, education director for Richmond Valley schools, said today would hopefully be a clean-up day for staff with students returning to class tomorrow .

But that would depend on how quickly water levels dropped, with a chance that classes may not resume until Monday. Mr Campbell said Richmond teaching staff re-located to the Education Department's Goonellabah office yesterday to work.

Ironically, Stratheden Public was closed due to a lack of water. "They had a water pump that seized so they had no water so for hygiene purposes we had to keep kids at home," Mr Campbell said.

It is not known if the problem was caused by flooding or was unrelated. Other schools not operating until power is restored are Coorabell, Durrumbul, Goonengerry, Main Arm, The Pocket and Wilson Park public schools, the Education Department advised at 4.30pm yesterday.

But even for those schools that were open yesterday, like Trinity Catholic College in Lismore, the first day of the 2013 school year - though a pupil-free day - was conducted amid the post-cyclone clean-up.

College manager Ros Robinson said the school had suffered flood inundation of up to 2m in four office areas, an administration centre, two classrooms and a couple of toilet blocks.

Ms Robinson said while the full extent of the damage would not be known until all the buildings had been hosed out, it appeared to be a fairly moderate impact in comparison to previous floods the school had experienced.

"We might still have a bit of a water view tomorrow, who knows," Ms Robinson said.



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