Fresno State students react to recent California rainstorms devastating homes


Pedestrians look at a flooded road in Sebastopol, California, on Jan. 5, 2023. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

By Dylan Gonzales, Reporter

Over the past few weeks, Fresno County and the rest of California have seen an unprecedented amount of rain.

According to the rain gauge at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Fresno had received 3.9 inches of rain as of Jan. 17. This total more than doubled the mean inches of rain in the area in January from 2000-2023, which is 1.85 inches per the National Weather Service.

The rain has not only impacted Fresno County but also the counties of Merced, Santa Cruz and Sacramento. On Jan. 14, President Joe Biden granted federal relief for those three counties in response to the heavy storms.

Biden also spoke at Seacliff State Park in Aptos, a city in Santa Cruz County.

He confirmed that at the time that 21 people had been killed as a result of the severe storms. He announced the government would cover 100% of the debris removal and sheltering for the people who lost their homes over the next 60 days.

“California is grateful for President Biden’s swift approval of this critical support to communities reeling from these ongoing storms,” said California Gov, Gavin Newsom.

Even though the storms in Fresno weren’t as devastating as those in Merced, Santa Cruz and Sacramento, the impact was still felt throughout the Central Valley.

Road work on Nees Avenue, north of Fresno State, was scheduled to finish sometime in March. However, due to the rain, the road is now expected to be completed in May, according to The Fresno Bee.

Fresno State students expressed mixed feelings about the recent storms.

Karyna Ocampo, a junior, shared concerns regarding the safety of the roads for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Ocampo already had worries about the amount of potholes on the roads and the storms have increased her concerns.

“It seems like [all the rain] has made the roads worse, which makes it seem like they are deteriorating faster, which makes it unsafe for drivers,” Ocampo said.

Despite providing reasons as to why the rain can be difficult for commuters, Ocampo also believes “we needed the rain” as it helps with the drought.

Logan Tucker also cited the drought as a reason as to why the heavy rain could be beneficial. Tucker, a junior, is part of the cattle industry.

“This rain has truly helped by getting lots of grass to grow, which [increases] the price and profit of my cattle,” Tucker said.
As January comes to a close, less rain is expected in the coming weeks. According to The Weather Channel, none of the days leading up to Feb. 11 has over a 50% chance of rain.