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Fire threat and flood damage: Molesworth Primary School, St Helens District School to temporarily close on Thursday

Pulse Tasmania
St Helens District High School. Image / Facebook

Damage from severe thunderstorms has forced an east-coast school to close for the day tomorrow, while another school will shut due to a heightened bushfire risk.

The Department of Education, Children and Young People will shut St Helens District School on Thursday due to heavy rains experienced in the region earlier today.

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Students will be required to stay at home until power can be restored at the school and cleanup undertaken.

More than 140mm of rain lashed the area on Wednesday, in an event that the Bureau of Meteorology described as ‘unusual’.

Flooding in St Helens on Wednesday. Image / Supplied

Emergency measures will also be put in place for Molesworth Primary School in the Derwent Valley on Thursday.

The Education Department says the decision was made based on advice received from the Tasmania Fire Service, as a high risk of fire is forecast for the area.

Tasmania Fire Service Deputy Chief Officer Matt Lowe. Image / Pulse

The fire service have stood up a ‘Hot Day Response team’ ahead of the heatwave, which is expected to see fire danger ratings as high as extreme.

Deputy Chief Officer Matt Lowe said a total fire ban has also been put in place for southern Tasmania from 2am on Thursday.

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“This means that from 2am tomorrow, no fires will be permitted in the open in Southern Tasmania, including incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots and wood-fuelled barbecues,” he said.

“With a Total Fire Ban in place, anyone planning on lighting even a small fire must not do so.”

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