Trapped Waituna Creek School pupils, parents and teachers had to be ferried across paddocks on Tuesday after gum trees fell across the road in and out of school in the severe winds.
Teacher Catriona Cochrane said a “wonderfully helpful” farmer whose children were past pupils of the school used his 4WD to move children and parents out through his paddocks.
The gum trees went down across the road at about 3pm, so some parents were stuck at the school who were there to collect their children at the end of the day.
“Because it took out the power lines too, it was too dangerous to do anything about [on Tuesday] and still too windy,” she said.
Power was out from about 1.30pm, and while one bus load of children made it out, one was stuck at school on Tuesday afternoon. Thanks to the help of locals, the last child and parent were able to leave by 5pm.
“[They left] with the local cop who used to have kids at the school and showed up concerned that we were isolated at 5pm, so our last town parent and child when with him,” she said.
Picnic tables had also been uplifted and the school hen house had also blown away. The hens survived, and were being kept in a dog kennel.
Meanwhile, the school’s pupils who remained stuck weren’t fazed by the extreme weather, in fact, they were rather enjoying watching the action from inside.
“I think some of the last few kids were gutted they couldn’t go for a ride in a police car,” she said.
With no power, school was cancelled yesterday, and will remained closed until power is restored.
The road was cleared by about 10.30am yesterday.
By Rebecca Ryan