Students, staff trapped at Calderwood Christian School due to flooding

Staff and students at Calderwood Christian School were trapped inside the school for several hours on Thursday night as emergency crews negotiated flooded roads to reach them.

‘’The volume of water was so significant there was a sense it was running up hills’’, said executive principal Tony Horsley.

The volume of water was so significant there was a sense it was running up hills. - Tony Horsley

‘’It came in under the door and into a low spot and sort of filled up a classroom.

‘’There were no children in here, it happened around 5pm but the rainfall has been crazy for a long time today. 

“It’s just rained and rained.”

Mr Horsley said many of the students who had left the school were on a bus going to Dapto that got stuck for several hours.

‘’We’ve been getting many phone calls from parents about their children who haven’t made it home but we know they are stuck on the bus at Yallah waiting to be rescued,’’ he said.

‘’They are all safe.’’

Mr Horsley said the school flooded once before in 2011 ‘’but there is little we can do’’.

‘’Even if we build better drains there is almost nowhere for the water to go. 

“The water sits here and when it rains so heavy like this for such a long period of time there’s not much we can do.

“The paddocks are full around us, it’s just like a lake.”

The people stranded in the school grounds on Calderwood Rd were a combination of teachers, office staff and children waiting for parents who worked at the school.

‘’We have a few year 12 students here, a few young ones too, but everyone is perfectly fine,” he said.

’’We’re locked in while we wait for the SES to come and get us with a big truck.

‘’Like I always say, an inconvenience is an adventure so we are all in good spirits.’’

The schools access roads are Calderwod Rd and Marshall Mount Rd.  

At 7pm last night the staff and students were still inside but happy for emergency crews to prioritise calls to people in danger.

‘’We are all safe in here, we are not high priority tonight, there are people in danger that need help first.’’

Around the same time, emergency crews were rushing to the rescue of a Premier Bus stuck in floodwaters on the Illawarra Highway with multiple children on board.

And two adults at Dapto High School, also in the west Dapto area, were trapped in a car with rising floodwaters. 

Areas of Albion Park were 2m under water by 7pm last night.

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