By Beth Lederer
We asked City College Students: How has the extreme weather (rain storms, high winds, tree’s falling, power outages, flooding, mudslides, potholes, challenging commutes, property damage, etc.) impacted your life in any way over the last couple months?
Ajani Jabari Aragon:
It affects my everyday routine. When it rains you can’t really go outside. I take my dogs for walks a lot. Depending on how slippery the road is you have to drive more safely. When it’s light, I’ll drive but if it’s raining really hard and I have to come to class, I like to catch a bus. I’ve been in some instances where it’s been raining very hard, and someone has swerved into me which has been a very close call.
The rain on the weekends definitely gives me a chance to catch up on any assignments which I haven’t done so that’s a pro. The rain keeps me from being outside with my dogs. When it’s raining, I’ll take them for a walk around the block just so they can go outside and use the bathroom. When it’s not raining, I take my dogs for long walks, usually for four to five hours per day. The dogs are brother and sister, one dog loves the water, whenever there are puddles she’ll run through them, splashing them. The brother doesn’t like getting wet. The dogs are a Catahoula Leopard dog mixed with a Rottweiler.
The rain keeps me confined to the house, which I don’t mind because obviously you have to spend some time in the house but anytime I get, I just like to go for a hike, try to go somewhere new. I live in Treasure Island, it’s a perfect place to walk my dogs.
Marc Anthony J. Bundy:
I actually work at the airport, San Francisco International Airport (SFO). I load planes all day long, 12 hours a day, 16 hours a day. So the weather has really impacted me because I work outside in the rain. I was soaking wet and it was cold too. It’s right on the bay. I got a raise because I had to work two to three months of that, and everybody else was calling in.
I’m a veteran as well, US Air Force veteran taking business classes. I lead all below operations for airlines such as China Airways, Philippine Airlines, Emirates. It’s not just bags we load, sometimes fancy race cars, sometimes it’s like 10,000 pounds of Salmon.
It was stormy, we’re on the coast, right by the water. So my loader to load the plane was swaying this way and the plane was swaying opposite. So I had to tie everything correctly to get everything on the right way, plus it was storming at the same time. I lost my load sheet five times and I was fumbling for that. A load sheet you have to put it on for center balance so the plane doesn’t tip, when it goes up, the weight has to be distributed evenly.
I’m in a good position to travel now. On the weekends we’re traveling more, nobody wants to be here now. We just came back from vacation. We went to Napa the weekend before last and we went to New Orleans for my nephews birthday.
So funny story, it was last Sunday, it was around 1:00 a.m. My dad was awake in the living room. I had my headphones on, I was talking with my friends, we were playing video games and all of sudden I heard my dad yell “Kenny” from the living room. I’m a little annoyed because he’s yelling at me. Like “what’s going on?” I take one part of my headphones off, and he says, “Kenny it’s flooding.” “What?”
All of sudden from underneath my closed door, water just starts seeping into my room, and I’m shocked and I don’t know what to do. And it’s coming in and it’s starting to fill up the floor of my room. I’m moving frantically, trying to raise all the electronics above on platforms, on chairs, on tables. It was maybe an inch high throughout the entire room, that’s when I ran to the door. I had some towels hung up somewhere and started plugging up the door. Then I exit to my parents room because there is an entrance to my room from the living room. My parents’ room is elevated already, so no water has gotten into their room. And I’m looking in the kitchen, and there’s water just pouring through the kitchen like a stream, a river almost. And it’s coming through the kitchen and through the living room. My dad has the backyard door open, and he has a mop and is trying to sweep the water through. It’s just absolutely crazy. We had sandbags in front of the garage so the water didn’t come from there.
The water actually came up from the garage drain. Some city sewer systems must have gotten flooded and they didn’t have the facilities to handle all the extra water and it just started coming out enough to create a stream. My shoes got soaked and I had to wear really old shoes on Monday when I went to school. My AC adapter got fried, and some plywood boards that I used to stage for flooring for the rest of my room just got soaked. I probably need to remove them because of mold.
Everything was so hectic. My mom was wearing bags on her feet and my dad in his sandals and socks all soaked sweeping the water. My aunt, who is the owner of the house, was taking pictures and video evidence so she could contact the city government so they could do something about the flooding.
The weather has added to the expenses of the commute. I commute from Sacramento two times a week, four trips total each week. I’ve had challenges with my car. The whole reason I don’t live in San Francisco is money, it’s a little bit cheaper to live out in Sacramento and commute. The commute is definitely more than two hours almost every time. Two weeks ago my car wouldn’t start and also this week. I had to buy a $150 jump starter at Walmart. Walmart didn’t have the $99.00 one I wanted to get, only the more expensive one. So I used it to jump start my car this morning. I had to pay somebody to jump it before my last class two weeks ago. But because of the weather, I ended up actually missing my class even though I got my car jumped. There was bad weather and there was a wreck on the freeway. Every place I called to try to get them to come to jump my car, “oh it will be 45 minutes because there’s a wreck on the freeway right where you’re at.” I’m a veteran, and there are at least seven veterans in my class. Most of the veterans commute, most of them don’t live in San Francisco.
Right now there is no heat in the science building. It kind of affects the results in the class and makes it really cold. When you’re in there your hands get really cold, it’s a brick building. My professor bought in portable heaters and we’re using Bunsen burners. The heat has been out the whole semester.
It was hard to keep up with my classwork because of the way that power outages were happening. I had two power outages at my house and they were around two to two and a half hours each. It was really difficult though because now I have to catch up. I’m taking four classes and I’m lost on what’s going on. Other than the power outages, I would say I did get more done at home and I’m glad we had some rain. The extreme weather was a little surprising, it felt weird but cool.