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Whareama School closed

Whareama School is closed today in anticipation of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Principal Darren Kerr said it was a pre-emptive move to avoid students getting stranded at school.

He said the bad weather was expected to peak at high tide, posing a potential flooding risk for the tidal Whareama river.

“In January’s heavy rain, Whareama and Riversdale were probably the worst hit areas in Wairarapa.

“There was flooding and slips, so after these warnings, we thought there was a high chance we wouldn’t
be able to get the kids home.

“The Ministry told every school to decide whether to close based on their circumstances, and for us, it seems sensible,” Kerr said.

Students were sent home yesterday with paper-based schoolwork in case power outages make digital learning impossible, but Kerr said he wouldn’t mind if some students didn’t complete the work.

“A lot of these farm kids are going to be busy helping mum and dad sandbag and dig trenches.

“With all the rain, high wind, and the potential for a power cut, it would be a health and safety issue to keep the school open,” Kerr said.

He said the closure had the full support of parents and the school board.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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