Students affected by El Niño’s wrath

A tour of people are lead through campus during a down pour on Friday, Mar. 4 2016. (Connor Hunt / Xpress)

Power outages and flooding affected SF State and its students this past weekend due to the increased rainfall from El Niño. This weather has hindered on-campus Café Rosso, nearby Stonestown Galleria and student housing.

“On Thursday we got a lot of rain, and it caused one of our drains to clog, making the water unable to drain,” said Sam Freeman, Café Rosso’s location manager. “We had to close early – we closed around 4 p.m.”

Water problems weren’t the only issues to affect SF State students. Over the weekend, Stonestown Galleria experienced a power outage that lasted almost two hours. Mary Nguyen, a division advisor at Stonestown’s Uniqlo and a senior business management major, was working when the power outage occurred.

“Around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, all of a sudden all of the lights went out in the mall,” Nguyen said. “All stores started to close. It was weirdly calm – people couldn’t leave because there was really bad weather outside. After about an hour (and) a half the back-up power source gave out, and by that time there was no one left in the mall so almost all stores closed.”

SF State students Melissa Barba (left) and Daniel Villegas  attempt to avoid the rain outside the humanities building during a downpour, Friday,  Mar. 4, 2016. (Connor Hunt / Xpress)

SF State students Melissa Barba (left) and Daniel Villegas attempt to avoid the rain outside the humanities building during a downpour, Friday, Mar. 4, 2016. (Connor Hunt / Xpress)

The rain and wind also affected on-campus housing. Kaylee Fagan, the University property management student assistant, spoke about the damages that have occurred around campus.

“When storms happen, we have a lot of calls about windows breaking due to wind, storm drains overflowing, and leakage of windows has been a huge problem,” Fagan said.

For several months now, San Francisco has been experiencing a fluctuation in its climate. Back in January, the city began to experience more rainfall than it has for quite some time.

“January had much greater than average precipitation in San Francisco,” said John P. Monteverdi, an SF State professor of meteorology, in an email.

Frank Fasano, interim associate vice president of facilities and services at SF State said in an email that the department has continued to perform weekly maintenance checks on drains.

Monteverdi has been gathering information since November about El Niño, and said it has been the strongest since scientists began gathering comprehensive data in 1950.

“El Niño is not a storm, but a phenomenon observed in the sea surface temperature patterns in the tropical Pacific,” Monteverdi said. “This present El Niño and the sea surface temperature anomalies … has been the strongest since the dense network of sea surface temperature observing sites have been in place.”

The various problems that occurred last week affected SF State and its students. The extreme weather had an impact for on campus businesses as well as off. Predicting weather like El Niño is nearly impossible; but being prepared is essential.