Thousands of students waiting to return to school amid New South Wales flood destruction

Thousands of students in New South Wales are waiting to return to the classroom after the state’s flood crisis destroyed several schools.

Teachers at Richmond River High School in Lismore said every room had been inundated by floodwaters, leaving a mass of destruction in their wake.

“The damage to Richmond River High is significant – there’s not a classroom that hasn’t been inundated,” the school’s principal, Luke Woodward said.

Floods caused destruction to every classroom at Richmond River High School in Lismore. (Today)

“The smell is next level through the school because of all the floodwater that’s been through.

“We’ve lost literally all our teaching resources, we’ve lost things like our grand piano for our music students.”

“There’s so many memories that have been lost by staff and students – it’s about the kids – not about the building.”

Mr Woodward said the Australian Defence Force had been working to clear debris and rubbish from the facility in efforts to salvage the school.

“They are doing an incredible job,” he said.

Works are now underway to accommodate the 500 to 1200 displaced students and teachers from Richmond River High School at Lismore High School, a sister campus of Rivers Secondary College.

The floods have left thousands of students waiting to return to school. (Today)

Rivers Secondary College Principal Chris Williams said students were still dealing with the destruction of their homes.

“It’s just epic, unless you drive down the streets it’s indescribable,” Mr Williams said.

“Kids have not been doing any learning, half of our kids have been impacted and are out there ripping out the contents of their homes, combing through the mud and helping their families to try and get things back to a sense of normality.”

The Richmond River High School will be temporarily reestablished at a new, safe site.

Flood recovery ramped up in Hawkesbury region

A flood recovery centre has been set up in Hawkesbury, New South Wales, to assist flood-impacted communities as more Australian Defense Force personnel join the recovery effort in the state’s north.

Several parts of the flood-devastated region are still without power, with many expected to regain access to electricity today.

The Windsor Bridge, previously inundated by floodwaters, is also set to reopen.

The Hawkesbury Helping Hands Centre in South Windsor has been opened to assist residents in need.

The centre is open from 10am today, with another to be opened on the Hawkesbury River at Wiseman’s Ferry.

The Windsor Bridge is set to reopen today. (Today)

Power remains out in the Hawkesbury regions of Lower Mangrove, Green Grove and Mangrove Creek.

Electricity is predicted to return to the Wiseman’s Ferry community tomorrow, while the suburbs of Spencer and Marlow will remain without power for the next two days.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a $1 billion package to aid flood recovery, which included additional disaster payments and boosting military personnel on the ground.

Several parts of northern New South Wales are set to regain electricity (Today)

The Australian Defence Force has stationed 4300 troops across the state to help with clean up efforts, half of which are stationed in the devastated Northern Rivers region.

In total, military support has increased to 7000 personnel across flood-affected Queensland and New South Wales.

Three Singaporean and ADF chinooks have landed to provide critical aid, like tents, blankets, meals and bottled water to residents.

Australian troops are currently distributing 33 pallets of disaster relief provided by the Singaporean Government.

Another threat emerges with a landslide threatening to swallow up this home in Emu Heights, Western Sydney.

A day of devastation: Sydney’s flood chaos in pictures

The Federal Government has also announced a new payment for veterans left homeless by the floods, with a $3000 emergency payment boost and a $100 Coles voucher available for those affected.

Veteran’s affairs minister David Elliott will visit Lismore on Thursday this week.

‘Raging, unstoppable torrent of water’

Works are underway to clear Queensland’s Brisbane River of dangerous debris following the state’s historic flood event, as the river’s port returns to 24/7 operation.

Queensland Treasurer and Investment Minister Cameron Dick said activity on the Brisbane River was a key contributor to the state’s economy, with the recent flooding bringing activity to a stand-still.

Queensland treasurer Cameron Dick said the Brisnane River port would return to full operation. (Nine)

“The wettest February we’ve seen in our state in 130 years,” Mr Dick said.

“The Brisbane River itself turned into a raging, unstoppable torrent of water.”

This week, two navy vessels and military divers worked to clear dangerous debris from the river, with clean-up efforts continuing.

“The Brisbane River itself remains a place of danger. We know there is danger lurking underneath the water of the Brisbane River,” Mr Dick said.

He added activity on the river contributed $50 billion each year to the state’s economy.

“The impact on our river and our local economy is significant. We need our ports to operate,” Mr Dick said.

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