Torrent across Bay Area causes flooding and headaches

By David Rodriguez, Julian Espinoza, Qing Huang and Kyler Knox

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The campus was a sea of umbrellas and ponchos Monday as the weekend’s storm system continued to pummel the Bay Area with wet weather.

While San Francisco has only received a third of an inch of rain over the last 24 hours, other parts of the Bay Area have seen large downpours. The Santa Cruz Mountains and the North Bay will receive between four and six inches of rain during the storm, according to the National Weather Service.

“That’s a lot of rain in a short amount of time,” said NWS forecaster Steve Anderson.

That much rain can cause severe flooding — the effects of which may not be immediately apparent.

“We’ll continue to have slides and debris coming down the hills even after it stops raining,” said Anderson. “The mudslide threat has not passed yet.”

Although campus has yet to experience any major flooding, the possibility still looms overhead, according to SF State lecturer and hydrologist Zachary Lauffenburger.

“We get water that enters campus from 19th Ave, from Stonestown, from Parkmerced,” said Lauffenburger. “We’re in a little bit of a depression where campus sits, so water generally flows from the surrounding environment into campus.”

He identified the soccer field, the baseball diamond and the greenhouse behind Hensill Hall as areas of particular concern.

“The lowest lying areas around campus are at the most risk,” said Lauffenburger.

Rain like this does not just affect students walking to class. Its effects go even beyond roadway conditions while driving. In some instances, it prevents individuals like Sam Chavarria from driving in the first place.

SF State student and commuter, Chavarria is just one of many who has felt the effect that this heavy rain can cause. He was unable to drive his car to class yesterday, February 7, due to extreme flooding at his house in Pleasant Hill, Calif.

“I saw garbage cans floating around in the middle of the street since it was garbage day,” he said.

The water had flooded not just his driveway, but went all the way up to his front door preventing him from walking to his car for school.

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The rain and wind for tomorrow will not only continue, but conditions will worsen with winds at six to 11 miles per hour and a 70 percent chance of precipitation.

When asked what Chavarria does in cases like this of unexpected weather changes he said, “I improvise and do the best that I can.”

“Today I took longer travel time to school, and the bus is more crowded,” said Mauricio Marrufo, a City College of San Francisco student living in Bayview district, hospitality major.

Going to school twice a week this semester, Marrufo’s commute depends on Uber or the bus.

He said that regularly taking Uber to school costs him $6, but today’s rain would force him to pay $13. That is too expensive for him, so he used the bus to get to school.

“We need this weather, getting out of the drought,” said a woman on Tuesday, who is the owner of A and N Liquor Store on Ocean Avenue of San Francisco.

“We can’t control the weather,” she said. “The weather today slows the people walking around this area, but right now my business is okay, not so bad.”

Manny Fresh, a BART commuter living in Richmond, has a budtender job at a cannabis club on Ocean Avenue of San Francisco.

He said Tuesday the Richmond train he usually gets on El Cerrito station at 8:30 a.m. could not directly take him to work because of the bad weather.

“The BART had something wrong on the track, so I had to get off at MacArthur station and transferred to a Fremont train to Balboa Park station of San Francisco,” he said. “It delayed me about 30 minutes to work.”

He also said Tuesday the smell on the train was nasty because a lot of homeless people fell asleep on it.

“They can’t sleep on the streets anymore because of the wet weather,” he said. “I feel like the BART has to do a better job, not allowing this thing to happen again.”

This afternoon on Wednesday, Febuary 8, the San Francisco downtown area is expected to have a high chance of rain at 61°F and a slight chance of rain tonight at 55°F.

A gale warning is signaled throughout the northern parts of the bay area. These areas include San Francisco, Peninsula, Half Moon Bay, and South San Francisco. A gale warning pertains to winds of 37 to 47 knots with hazardous wave conditions that are occurring.

Throughout the rest of the week starting Friday, the weather is supposed to clear in San Francisco with mostly clear skies and temperatures from the low to high 50°F.

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