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Caution ahead of Cyclone Cook closes Eastern BOP schools

Media Release

11 April 2017

Caution ahead of Cyclone Cook closes Eastern Bay of Plenty schools and early learning centres

All 57 schools and about 80 early learning services in the Eastern Bay of Plenty will be advised to close tomorrow as a precaution ahead of Cyclone Cook.

With heavy wet rain forecast to hit the region from about midday tomorrow, there is concern further flooding will close roads already affected by slips, says the Ministry of Education’s deputy secretary of Sector Enablement and Support Katrina Casey.

“Following today’s decision by the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence emergency management group to expand the state of emergency, we are taking precautions and asking all 57 schools in the Whakatane, Opotiki and Kawerau districts to close. We are also asking about 80 early learning services including Kohanga and home-based care services in these areas to close tomorrow.

“We do not want to risk having students stranded at schools as a result of road conditions.

“These closures are for tomorrow only. The developing weather situation will be reassessed tomorrow afternoon to decide whether the schools and ECEs reopen on Thursday.

“The forecast heavy rain has the potential to cause further closures outside the Eastern Bay of Plenty. The best information will come from these schools and early learning services themselves as they make decisions about closures. Parents are advised to check their websites or Facebook pages or contact them directly,” Katrina Casey says.

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