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University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Breaking News: Classes canceled due to Tropical Storm Hilary

The predicted path of Tropical Storm Hilary according to the National Hurricane Center. Image from NOAA

When it rains; it pours. That certainly happened over the weekend when Tropical Storm Hilary hit Southern California bringing a year’s worth of rain to Los Angeles in a single night.

Southern California is bracing for its first tropical storm since Sept. 15, 1939. The tropical storm had not reached Los Angeles county and is 285 miles south-southeast of San Diego. CNN reported that Tropical Storm Hilary is expected to drop a year’s worth of rain onto California..

Fall semester at Cal State LA was set to begin on Monday, Aug. 21. Interim-President Leroy M. Morishita sent out multiple campus-wide emails about how the campus would monitor Tropical Storm Hilary.

To prepare for the storm, Morishita stated that facilities staff would clean out gutters and drains throughout campus.

Originally, classes were scheduled to continue despite warnings that the storm would arrive in Los Angeles County from Sunday into Monday. However, after a series of flash flood warnings and an earthquake on Sunday, another campus-wide email was sent out.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Cal State LA is making important scheduling changes for Monday,” Morishita stated in the email. “We are taking the following actions for the health and safety of our community during Tropical Storm Hilary. Classes will be canceled on Monday, August 21. This includes classes on our downtown Los Angeles campus. Faculty and staff should plan to work from home on Monday.”

With the first day of classes canceled, some students are disappointed.

I was bummed out when I found out classes were canceled because I was prepared for Monday, but I understand the school needs to put safety first,” Gerardo Parra, a business major, said. “Since it was the first day, I feel like I’m going to feel lost on Tuesday trying to find my classes.”

However, students are also relieved that the campus is taking the situation seriously.

“I think it was a really good idea to cancel classes on campus because I commute and many others do as well,” Destiny Morales, a criminal justice major, said. “It is very dangerous on the streets at the moment, especially with all this rain, it’s really risky.” 

Heavy rain in Southern California can cause flash flooding, mudslides in areas that were affected by wildfires, or because somebody got swept away in a riverbed or wash. These dangers during heavy rain are reminders for people to stay indoors and don’t go out unless it is necessary.

“While it is impossible to know with certainty what conditions will exist on Monday, my cabinet and I, along with other emergency response personnel, have decided to err on the side of caution,” Morishita stated in the campus-wide email. “We recognize that the worst of the storm may have passed on Monday and the conditions on campus may be safe for our community. Our staff have been at work preparing our campus for the impact of the storm. However, our students and employees may still face hazardous conditions where they live or along their commute. For these reasons, we are canceling classes and transitioning to virtual work. Your safety is our priority.“

The storm passed through the Los Angeles County region Monday morning, and another campus-wide email was sent out stating that classes are scheduled to return on Tuesday August, 22. 

“In communities across Southern California, the arduous task of assessing damage, cleaning up, and recovery is now taking place,” Morishita said in the email. “Our assessment has confirmed that the campus is safe for our community, and we can resume our normal operations.”

Facilities staff have been working to clean up the campus of pools of water inside the buildings. Buildings are also being checked for condition and repairs.

The storm caused a power outage at the Golden Eagle Apartments, the Television, Film and Media Center, and Parking Structure D, near the center. Morishita stated that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is currently repairing a transformer and that power is expected to return by the end of Monday. The cause of the outage was believed to be due to a fallen tree.

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About the Contributors
Thomas Davila
Thomas Davila, Multimedia Reporter
Thomas Davila is a multimedia reporter for the UT. I also write blogs for GER. I love to write and play and listen to music in my free time.
Anne To
Anne To, Editor-In-Chief
Anne To is the Editor in Chief of the UT and also the co-Station manager of the Golden Eagle Radio. She loves working on audio production with radio, podcasting, and more! You may have seen some of her comics with the Life of Biffy series. During her free time she is either taking a nap, or playing video games.  

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