With a state of emergency issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom in effect, several California school districts announced they would close Thursday as historic rain unleashes on the state and brings with it more catastrophic flooding.
South San Francisco Unified School District announced Wednesday that it canceled afternoon extracurricular activities as a “bomb cyclone” storm arrived, one of several such storms to hit other areas of the nation so far this winter. School is also closed Thursday.
“The goal is to have most staff and families off the roads by 3 p.m. on Wednesday,” wrote Superintendent Dr. Shawnterra Moore on the district’s website. “In collaboration with the City of South San Francisco’s parks and recreation program, after school care will remain open on Wednesday for essential workers who have children enrolled in the after-school care program and unable to take time off.”
Over a half-inch of rain fell there on Tuesday but more was forecasted to be dumped over the next day by the low-pressure front that undergoes “rapid intensification” at speeds of at least 24 millibars, the measure of atmospheric pressure, over a 24-hour period. The bomb cyclone is strengthening an atmospheric river that has been blanketing the state in rain nearly nonstop since before New Year’s Eve.
The National Weather Service Bay Area said Thursday afternoon via Twitter that about an inch of rain an hour was expected.
We know you’re waiting on the heavier rain. It’s coming. Here are approximate arrival times for the heavier rain band. Expect flooding concerns to increase later this afternoon into tonight across the area. Stay safe! #cawx pic.twitter.com/11brmjqaD3
— NWS Bay Area 🌉 (@NWSBayArea) January 4, 2023
Already, Downtown San Francisco is at over 155 percent of its normal rainfall amounts for this time of year. School bus contractor and transportation network company Zum reported that widespread flooding has occurred at its facilities that serve San Francisco Unified School District and Oakland Unified School District, the former being particularly hard hit. Still, a spokeswoman said transportation operations have yet to be impacted as staff “work diligently and proactively to mitigate any issues.”
“Using our dispatch tech combined with the support of our incredible drivers and staff, all routes have been covered and services meet demand,” a company spokeswoman continued.
As for plans for the rest of the week, San Francisco Unified School District remained open as of Wednesday but posted on its website that it was “closely monitoring” the weather situation for the latest updates.
Meanwhile, San Mateo Union High School District, Pacifica School District, and Redwood City’s Summit Preparatory Charter High School announced they would be closed Thursday. Many other areas were under emergency evacuation orders, such as Santa Cruz on the central coast, which saw 4 inches fall on Wednesday alone.
California usually doesn’t make much wintertime news that is commonplace elsewhere. Still, severe weather is causing destructive tornadoes in the South. School closures and delays impacted several counties in North Georgia on Wednesday. And at least five feet of snow fell in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains overnight Monday with a larger storm on the way.