Rocklin community deals with effects of extreme weather conditions


After severe storms hit her home in Northern California during the first two weeks of January, Francheska Pontillas sweeps up dirt and debris that had fallen in her backyard. Photo by Eiron Ordona.

California has been hit with severe wind and rain for over two weeks, and the people around the community share what they have been experiencing in their day-to-day lives adjusting and dealing with damages caused by the rainstorms. As California is a dry state with droughts, there are those who are not used to the weather the day the storms began.

On cold and rainy days, whether just arriving at school, coming out of first-block, at lunch or after school, students seek shelter to avoid getting wet by finding roofed areas, like the library. Librarian Mrs. Karina Snow keeps a mindful eye out for our student body during extreme weather.

“I really pay attention to when it’s going to rain because that affects how many people are going to be in the library, and how closely I have to monitor how things are going,” Snow said. “Usually people come here to get work done, so I need to be able to keep it at a voice level where they

can still do that. All those people that need to get out of the rain and [I need to] direct them to other places if we do get full.”

While students take shelter, custodians like Ms. AJ Cummings continue working to keep our campus clean, even when the high winds and rain negatively affect her work routine.

“[The rain] has caused a delay time frame-wise. I would usually finish a lot faster, but with the trash cans knocked over by the wind, and having water in the bags, it feels like it takes hours to clean,” Cummings said. “They felt like weights. It was like I was working out at the gym.”

Athletes also had to adapt to changes in their practices and games. Although some had to go to different places or use different equipment, they said it was not easy when they had to use something they weren’t comfortable with.

Lacrosse players had trouble due to rain and thunderstorms. It is dangerous to play if the fields are soaked, and players could trip and get injuries. 

“You can’t play lacrosse because when you have the sticks, they don’t let you play because they’re metal and you could get struck by lightning,” Hudson Stevens said.

Star Guevara describes the damage that happened outside her house due to the rain.

 “Our backyard has been flooded, so we can’t go back there. When it’s sunny, it still has a lot of water because we have a big hole in the ground filled with the water,” Guevara said.

Guevara’s conversations were sometimes interrupted when hanging out with friends because of the loud thunderstorm, which also caused their internet to stop working. It has affected her school routine as a soccer athlete, similar to that of players on the lacrosse team.

“Our soccer practices have gotten moved inside because the field is wet and flooded, and because of the weather conditions … really [the] wind,” Guevara said. 

Parents are as affected by the weather as their children. Due to a power outage in some areas, those with electric vehicles have difficulties going to work or taking children to school. 

“The storm has affected my electricity, which led to problems for our family because our car is electric. Our power was out and our car would not charge, so we were worried about getting to school, and my mom was not able to make it to work,” Cayden Brosnan said.

AP Psychology and Government and Economics teacher Mr. Shawn Robin experienced some flooding. He made the house was safe and secure before leaving for school each day during the storms. 

“[Our backyard] doesn’t have the greatest drainage, so it tends to flood.” 

However, he said, the rain has had a positive effect on his son. 

“My 5-year-old thoroughly enjoys driving through deep puddles. He likes to play ‘Indiana Jones’ music and drive through puddles,” Robin said. 

Though the gloomy weather has left the community looking gray, some people said there are upsides to the seemingly never-ending rain. 

“I think [the rain is] good for the earth but we’re not always prepared for it. But I do like seeing the reservoirs and snowpack to be full. It also gets me excited for summer because it’s not going to be totally dead,” Snow said.

Not only are there upsides in our community, there are upsides for the workers in our school community.

“In a way, it’s easier for us to clean up around the campus because [everyone] is in that one spot instead of multiple spots due to the rain, so there’s pros and cons,” Cummings said.

Though the Rocklin-Roseville area had not experienced extreme damage like communities in Sacramento or Lincoln, those who have connections – through family or friends – have reached out to those heavily affected.

“While my house was fine, I was more worried about my parents who live in Lincoln. They lost 18 trees on their property, so we spent New Year’s Eve cutting down trees. They also have a lake that almost overflowed on their dam and so we dug trenches to make sure it didn’t overflow,” Snow said.

Robin said his family got lucky with minimal damage compared to some.

“My neighbors directly across the street had three large cypress trees that fell. It busted out the fence.” 

In another situation with his close relative, a redwood tree fell on their house. 

“The whole tree came down, and it just chopped the house in half,”  Robin said. ”One that was huge, about 200 years old, and about 4 feet in diameter.”

Californians struggle with this weather but it’s not uncommon as others struggle with similar conditions. 

Mrs. Snow said, “When we have situations like these massive storms that come through or even other kinds of disasters, it will pass. If we can just get through it and know that it’s gonna get better–whatever situation it is–people are willing to help people. Reach out and ask for help if you need it, but also know that it will pass.”