School Shutdown Warning: What Parents Need To Know About Cyclone Debbie

Brisbane school students are getting the day off school, but they don’t have much to cheer about: they are being urged to stay indoors as Cyclone Debbie moves down the east coast of Australia. Here’s what you need to know.

The Queensland Police Department has declared all Queensland schools between Agnes Water and the NSW border will be closed today as the State continues to battle Cyclone Debbie and ts aftermath. This includes schools in Metro, North Coast and South East Regions. Flash flood, severe wet weather and damaging wind warnings have already been issued.

“Parents should consider that with deteriorating weather conditions, the impact of this significant weather system is expected to worsen during the course of Thursday 30 March 2017,” the Queensland Government warned in a statement.

“Parents should not only consider the risks of the travel journey to school but also the return journey at the end of the school day in response to the deteriorating weather that is forecast during Thursday.”

Below, we answer some of your pertinent questions:

Which areas are affected?

Affected districts include Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt, the Southeast Coast, Gladstone, Kingaroy, Bundaberg, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

Do I need to evacuate my home?

In most cases, no. Schools have been closed to avoid the danger associated with picking up children in heavy rains.

I already dropped my kids at school. What now?

If your kids are already at school, they will still be cared for. However, police are urging parents to pick their children up at the earliest opportunity. If possible, do not wait until they end of the school day.

Does the closure include childcare centres?

Yes. At last count, 129 early childhood education and care services had been closed.

What about work?

Business owners are being asked to allow staff to leave work early to assist with parents picking up their children. At this stage, there is no alert requiring workers to stay at home. However, employers should allow staff go home in a staggered fashion to avoid congestion on th roads.

Should I avoid peak hour?

Well, duh. If possible, try to avoid driving altogether during peak hour – especially on major roads where traffic congestion is expected to be a nightmare.

Anything else I should know?

Stay informed! The Queensland government us asking all parents to check local weather conditions and road access, and to put their safety — and that of their children — above all else.

We’ll be updating this story as it develops.

[Via Business Insider]

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