By Esha Bagora
Across the state, California students have been impacted by the atmospheric river storms of the past couple of weeks. In Los Gatos, the storms led to power outages, blocked roads, and massive mudslides. Many Los Gatos High School (LGHS) students and teachers fell victim to these circumstances.
LGHS lost power due to the toppled trees. In a message to parents and students via Parentsquare, Superintendent Bill W. Sanderson said that LGHS did not have electricity because a “live power line and tree [fell] down on Los Gatos Boulevard.” The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) could not restore power to LGHS for three days, as “the tree [couldn’t] be removed for repair and the road cleared for through traffic until the live power line [was] resolved.”
When school got back up and running, Principal Kevin Buchanan sent out a message to the LGHS community on Parentsquare describing how administrators were “grateful to be back at school despite the rainy weather and want to acknowledge our maintenance and ground crews for all their work clearing the way for students to return safely to campus after a lot of clean up and systems management. […] We were lucky that all of our networks, HVAC, and bell systems came back up immediately.”
LGHS Junior Micah Maupas recalled that PG&E wasn’t able to restore power in his area, stating, “There was a ton of rain, so we didn’t have power which meant we couldn’t have hot water. I couldn’t come to school that first Monday because so many trees had fallen and covered the roads. It was hard to do schoolwork, but my teachers have been super understanding.”
Junior Miranda Heal added “The power lines were down for a while. It took nearly a week for them to be fixed, and then the day after we got power back, the water was shut down and no one knows why.” Senior Mia Thomas echoed these sentiments as she lost power after the storms, “I couldn’t make my bagel this morning.” Zachary Davison-Wilson, 9th and 11th grade English teacher, added “It was definitely a different way to start the second semester, missing three days of classes, with the power being out. I still have students who are having power and transportation issues, but everyone seems to be making do.”
Several LGHS students live in the Santa Cruz mountains, which took a huge hit from the storms. Mountain residents had their evacuation order lifted on Jan. 15, and President Biden surveyed the damage in Santa Cruz county on Jan.19.
The school has offered resources to students who are still struggling with power problems. In another Parentsquare post, Buchanan said “[The LGHS] library will remain open until 6pm beginning [Jan.19] and until we see that most of the affected areas are back up and running. We invite our students who do not have electricity and/or internet access at home to stay and work so they don’t fall behind in their studies.”
(Sources: The White House, Parentsquare)