Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

20 Years of Work Washed Away; Primary School Is Hit Hard by the Floods

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

20 Years of Work Washed Away; Primary School Is Hit Hard by the Floods

Article excerpt

Byline: Doug Gillett

AT THE height of the floods, Bundaberg East Primary School rose up from a seemingly endless sea of water like some remote island.

A pale brown mark left on the exterior walls of the school buildings either side of the entrance on Scotland St gives visitors an idea of the volume of water that washed through when the mighty Burnett River broke its banks.

As the water rose, the jungle gym and slippery slides of the studentsCO playground were submerged completely and water lapped against the corrugated iron roof of the single-storey storage shed like small waves against the hull of a tinnie. By the time the flood had reached its peak on Tuesday morning, water had washed under doors, through windows, down hallways and into each and every building on the school grounds.

School principal Doug Ambrose and a team of parents and students made a last-ditch journey to the school by boat as the big wet washed in.

Mr Ambrose guided media on a tour through the school on Wednesday.

He did not know how much it was going to cost to repair the school; only how many hours and how much work volunteers had put in.

When volunteers arrived to salvage books and electronics, floodwaters had swallowed everything in sight.

The school quadrangle was a lake. Concrete paths between classrooms were creeks. Outdoor verandas were jetties and posts and poles were moorings to anchor a boat.

The team moved through the buildings quickly, gathering teaching materials and valuables and stacking them on top of cupboards, desks and bookshelves, away from the rising water.

Unfortunately, perhaps the cornerstone of education and learning Co books Co were particularly susceptible to the floodwaters.

C[pounds sterling]It was pretty hard to take at first,C[yen] Mr Ambrose said.

C[pounds sterling]The loss really hurt; it felt like 20 years of work had gone down the drain.

C[pounds sterling]There were some rooms where we were able to save some things and we were relieved but in others we saved nothing and felt real despair. …

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