Drops of water fell from the sky this week, bringing UCSB to a standstill.
The storm has caused minimal flooding, a number of car accidents, downed power lines and power outages, felled trees, erosion and the destruction of sea vessels. According to the National Weather Service, the rain that was initially predicted to end Thursday morning now has an 80 percent chance of continuing through today and a 50 percent chance of lasting through the night.
Although UCSB lecture halls are certainly less full than usual, many students continue to face the rain. Third-year communications, religious studies and business economics major David Silva said that weathering the storm was comparable to “surviving a flood” and complained of soaked clothing and wind-whipped hair.
“Besides the fact that it’s gotten me wetter than a good porn, I’m pretty sure my feet have sprouted a fungus,” Silva said.
Pacific Gas & Electric reported a number of sporadic power outages and, according to a press release from Santa Barbara County Communications Director William Boyer, there have been a number of downed power lines throughout the area. The press release mentioned a particular incident on E. Haley Street between De la Vina and Bath in which downed trees “snapped” power lines, disturbed nearby concrete and totaled approximately six cars.
Santa Barbara County has also experienced disturbances from the storm offshore. According to Mick Kronman, harbor operations manager for the City of Santa Barbara, unattended boats in the Santa Barbara Harbor have posed a huge problem. Nine boats are reported to have hit city beaches in the last two days, and Kronman said there are probably about three more on county beaches.
“Many are permanently damaged beyond repair,” Kronman said.
Captain David Sadecki of the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. said an unmanned boat crashed into the Goleta Pier on Wednesday.
“[The accident] caused minor damage to the pier,” Sadecki said. “Nobody was onboard the boat, so nobody was injured.”
According to both Kronman and Sadecki, there are no injuries or fatalities associated with maritime activities and no serious damage has been inflicted on the Santa Barbara harbor itself.
“We’ve had to tow a couple of boats to people who were stranded. We [also] rescued a dog off a boat on the 19th,” Kronman said. “Inside the harbor, there’s been some light damage, [such as] light damage on the dock. There is no flooding in the harbor commercial area, but we’ve lost a few buoys.”
Santa Barbara’s homeless population has also been affected as an increasing number of individuals seek refuge in shelters. Casa Esperanza has reached their 200 person capacity but continues to help the needy affected by the storm.
“We don’t turn nobody away,” Fernando Lopez, manager of Casa Esperanza, said. “[Casa Esperanza is] not denying services, we still help [the homeless] out. But we go by safety codes that we have to follow. We can only have 200 [staying in our facility] … The rest have to go to the [Santa Barbara] Rescue Mission.”
Despite the heavy bouts of rain, several days this week have seen sunny afternoons, causing Silva to “[sweat] like a slut in church.”