California’s Wild Winter Storms


Austin Ra (‘23) and Clarence Deng (‘23) try to stay dry while walking to grab a quick bite from the dining hall.

Over the last few weeks, severe thunderstorms and snow have been sweeping throughout California, from the Los Angeles Basin all the way up to Northern California. Nearly the entire state of California has received copious amounts of rainfall, with the total being 400% to 600% above the average rainfall.   

“When I was walking to the Dining Hall, I could barely see ahead of me due to the rain,” said Clarence Deng (‘23). “The wind was so strong, I had to fix my umbrella three times.”   

Many have considered the decade-long drought to be over, with underground reservoirs being filled up near capacity.   

The National Weather Service labeled the storm as the “most impressive storm since January 5-7, 2005.”  

With over 24 trillion gallons of water being dumped onto California, it is no surprise the storms have wreaked havoc on neighborhoods, causing flooding, road closures, power outages, and landslides. 

Although California is prepared for flash flooding, the floods hit areas harder than expected due to the ground being weakened by recent wildfires.   

In an effort to protect Californians, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency throughout California in hopes of supporting the ongoing response to the winter storms.   

Sadly, at least 22 storm-related deaths have been reported across the state.   

Gov. Newsom said two weeks ago that the storms had claimed “more lives than wildfires in the past two years combined.”  

Unfortunately, Webb’s campus was not spared from the storm, as many parts of campus were hard to access and unusable.  

This caused some of Webb’s sports teams, such as WSC Soccer, to move their practice elsewhere, as some of the fields, such as Chandler Field, were unavailable due to immense flooding. 

The winter storm battered various areas of Webb’s Campus, such as McMillin Park throughout the day, leaving large puddles and flash flooding in its path.   

Sandbags were placed throughout the campus as a barrier to divert the water away from the buildings. Despite most of the rain coming to a halt, most of the sandbags will be kept in place in case another storm decides to brew in the coming weeks.   

The rain deterred most Webbies from leaving their dorms, causing campus to be nearly empty.   

“I found myself staying in my dorm room more instead of being outside,” said Jordan McCray (‘24). “During the times I did have to go outside, I had to layer up or I would be soaked almost instantly.”   

With parts of the campus being inaccessible, it was a challenge for students to participate in their afternoon activities.   

“The field was very slippery, making practice extremely difficult,” said Alejandro Fountain (‘24). “The team was only able to practice soccer for around five minutes before our practice got cancelled.”  

Webbies interested in helping out the victims of the Winter Storm can volunteer at disaster-relief organizations, such as the California Fire Foundation, The American Red Cross, and the Direct Relief Foundation.   

With the rains nearly coming to an end, Webbies will be able to experience the sunny Southern California weather soon.