Stormy Weather Causes Problems at San Juan Hills

Alarms, leaking classrooms, mud and soggy conditions prove a challenge after years of fair weather.


NOAA Weather

4.33 inches of rain fell on the area around SJHHS in the 120 hour period ending on Monday, Jan. 23. A series of winter storms has created problems such as traffic snarls, leaking classrooms, and a lot of mud and water to contend with.

Gavin Aitken, Boys Sports Co-Editor

For a region that has been in a severe drought for several years, the heavy rainstorms that have washed over Orange County the last couple of weeks could be seen as a blessing for the community.

However, for a school that is not well equipped to deal with weather such as this, these storms have caused several unexpected problems that have affected the student body as a whole.

Two English teachers, Jen Tatala and Carolyn Griner, came back from the weekend to find their rooms drying out from flooding that occurred during the last storm. They had to hold classes in other rooms until their rooms are cleared to re-enter, according to Tatala.

Our bio teacher was trying diligently to teach us the lab, she must have had to do the demonstration five times to get through it in one go.”

— Alex Royal

The school’s fire alarm system has always been sensitive to outside forces, and the occasional false alarm is nothing new to students at SJHHS. However, the rainstorm triggered alarms numerous times, causing serious distractions from the learning environment with each wail of the siren.

“Our bio teacher was trying diligently to teach us the lab, she must have had to do the demonstration five times to get through it in one go,” said Alex Royal.

These interruptions have also caused problems for extracurricular activities after school, with a joint choir practice between Tesoro and San Juan Hills on January 14th being hampered by the frequent alarms.

Choir member Zoe Lambiase said, “Our guests looked pretty confused when they saw the San Juan Hills students not even flinch at [the fire alarm].”

Work crews were busy attempting to fix the false alarms, according to Darrin Jindra.

Another issue caused by the bad weather is the deterioration of the dirt parking lot near the baseball field.

However, the most surprising incident due to rainy weather was when proctor Kim Jensen crashed a golf cart purchased only three days before its eventual collision into a basketball pole outside the gym, totaling it.

Jensen admitted that rain was a factor.

“The conditions changed but I didn’t adapt to the new weather. Because of reduced visibility I should have driven on the border of the courts. You don’t have to be driving that fast to get hurt.”

“You have rain, I had tinted windshields, car covers down… I’m not making an excuse, because it was all my fault, but when things change in your day to day, I should have adapted.”

The golf cart, recently purchased by ASB for the use of campus supervisors, did not have windshield wipers, which contributed to the low visibility described by Jensen.

Covered areas to eat lunch have also been a chronic problem during rainy days even before the recent storms. Students consistently have to either eat in teacher’s rooms, which forces teachers to eat inside their own rooms in order to supervise, or near the lockers, which is technically against school rules.

Although these problems will obviously be rare due to the lack of rain that Southern California consistently receives throughout the year, they are still real problems that will hopefully be addressed by administration before the next rainstorm arrives.