Safety a priority after Marcus onslaught
A big clean-up is still underway at Nightcliff Primary School after Cyclone Marcus felled trees, damaged bike rack covers, and shredded nine shade sails.
More than 40 people — including parents, school staff, tree service contractors and the Army — have been working to make the school operational, focusing largely on the removal of large trees and debris.
Principal Graham Chadwick said: “Our priority has been to make the school a safe environment for returning students, so the key tasks have been clearing away large trees and ripped sails, debris, branches on the ground, and those suspended in surviving trees.”
Mr Chadwick said although the school is open, there are several outdoor play areas that will remain closed until tree removals have been completed.
“The most time consuming repairs will be those to the bicycle covers, shade sails, and the extraction and relocation of big stumps and branches in the ground,” he said.
“But Cyclone Marcus has generated in students a great interest in these weather systems. They’ve come to school with many stories about the cyclone, and are eager to learn about Territory weather patterns.
“Many followed the cyclone on the BOM site, and were amazed how it could be tracked by the Bureau. They are keen to understand how a cyclone can be so devastating in such a short period of time, and want to learn more about Cyclone Tracy.
“I’d like to thank members of the community for their assistance, some coming from their own damaged properties to help at the school. I also acknowledge the work and support of our school council chair Mr Simon Niblock, Minister Natasha Fyles, our school maintenance officer Mr Tirso DeSagon and his friends from the Filipino community, and soldiers from the Ist Combat Engineer Regiment.”