UCSD responds to damage from winter storm flooding

UCSD responds to damage from winter storm flooding
Photo by Thomas Murphy/ UCSD Guardian

Heavy storms in San Diego have damaged housing, businesses, automobiles, and personal belongings. The state has been hit by record-breaking extreme weather conditions caused by a combination of atmospheric rivers, El Niño, and climate change. 

Eleanor Roosevelt College freshman Maggie Ayers, who is from Virginia, expressed in a text message to The UCSD Guardian that she did not anticipate such extreme weather conditions in Southern California.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be this bad,” Ayers said.

Many students’ devices were destroyed during the storm, such as Ayers’ laptop, since most classes were still held in person. Fortunately for her, the UCSD Bookstore fixed it for what she said was a reasonable price. She described how it broke on her way to class. 

“It was damaged when I attempted to walk to math class in [Earl] Warren [College], and my bag just got soaked through,” Ayers said. “The trackpad was broken.”

Current UC San Diego students were not the only ones impacted by the storm. UCSD alumna and founder of flower delivery service Native Poppy, Natalie Gill, explained in an email to The Guardian that her business’s warehouse was damaged in a flood of over three feet of water.

“Our warehouse is where we create all our flowers for delivery, create large events, make all our candles and dried flowers, and store all our merchandise and supplies,” Gill said. “We lost over $15,000 in gifts, supplies, and equipment along with two of our delivery vans, which were flooded so badly they were considered ‘totaled’ by our auto insurer.”

Additionally, the drywall had to be torn out to prevent the growth of mold, and five people worked together to clear out the water and mud. 

“We had to wash every vase and piece of furniture we were able to recover,” Gill wrote.

The Native Poppy warehouse was in a flood zone in Mission Valley, but in the three years they have occupied the space, the business previously had not experienced a flood.

“Every time it rained, we would put sandbags out and a wood flood barrier over the garage door, but it’s never flooded before,” Gill said.

While some San Diego businesses were affected immensely, the university reports that damage to UCSD infrastructure was minimal.  

“Fortunately, there was limited impact to the campus infrastructure,” stated Internal Communications Executive Director Laura Margoni. “A couple of leaks were reported, one tree fell, and there was some erosion to the Black’s Beach access road due to high surf and tides.”

While many students were able to weather the storm, some were impacted by it enough to warrant university support. The colleges have actively been working with a handful of students directly affected by the storms.

“The undergraduate colleges conducted outreach via email after the rains last week, and we have seven students we are actively working with due to flooding impacts,” Margoni added.

Gill hopes people will continue to support her business for Valentine’s Day.

“We are still fully open and operating and need help from our community to come back stronger,” she said. “We are asking people to pre-order flowers for Valentine’s Day or other occasions, buy a flower arranging e-course, share our story, leave us a review on Yelp or Google, or make a donation if they are in a place to do so.”

According to the National Weather Service, the winter storm concluded Friday, Feb. 9, with an evening of scattered showers and strong winds. However, the aftermath of the storm continues to impact the UCSD community.

To help Native Poppy, visit their website at https://www.nativepoppy.com/blogs/news/an-update-from-our-mission-valley-design-warehouse

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Thomas Murphy, Co-Webmaster & Photographer
I work on the website and take-a the pretty pictures
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