Students stranded amid ferry cancellations
A NUMBER of students from the Moreton Bay islands have been left stranded amid ferry cancellations caused by Tropical Cyclone Oma.
The impromptu day off has affected at least 50 students after ferries from North Stradbroke Island and the southern bay islands were cancelled due to hazardous conditions.
Carmel College at Thornlands reported up to 15 students had been unable to make it to school today because of the blustery conditions.
"It only happens when the conditions on the water are bad - if it's blowy then the ferry doesn't operate," the college's front receptionist Hayley Williams said.
Stradbroke Ferries have cancelled all passenger and vehicle ferries for today between Cleveland and Straddie and have limited services running this weekend.
State manager of Queensland Bureau of Meteorology Bruce Gunn said this morning that Oma is expected to become a category two system that will track south west over the next 24 hours before making a "U-turn to the north".
"I just want to stress that people shouldn't underestimate TC (Tropical Cyclone) Oma even though it's a category one at the moment and likely to be a category two," he said.
"The diameter of this system is huge, it's about 600km wide. Cyclone Debbie by comparison, which was a category 3 or 4 system, was only 300km in diameter.
"So there is a lot of energy in TC Oma."
Mr Gunn said the system is expected to cause significant coastal erosion, hazardous swimming conditions, high tides - possibly the "highest of year".
A spokeswoman for Stradbroke Ferries said, at this stage, limited passenger and vehicle ferries would run between Cleveland and Straddie over the weekend but "anything could happen".
All vehicle ferries between Cleveland and the southern Moreton Bay islands of Russell, Macleay, Karragarra and Lamb are cancelled until Monday and only limited passenger services will operate.
Self-service sandbagging stations have been set up at Cleveland and on North Stradbroke, Russell and Macleay islands.
Redland City mayor Karen Williams said while there was no need to panic - residents need to be prepared.
"It is particularly important that our island residents have an emergency kit and supplies," she said.
"We are suggesting that people avoid non-essential travel to and from the bay islands from Thursday through to Sunday, and to check with service operators before finalising travel plans."
She also urged residents to check the Redlands Coast disaster dashboard website.
- Cleveland RCC Depot - South Street, Cleveland: 7am-7pm today and over the weekend
- Russell Island RCC Depot - 6 High Street, Russell Island: 24 hours
- Macleay Island RCC Depot - 22-24 Scarborough Terrace, Macleay Island: 24 hours
- Dunwich RCC Depot - 11-37 Mitchell Crescent, Dunwich: 24 hours