Icy, wet weather conditions hit Archer, appropriate safety precautions follow


Photo credit: Emily Paschall

The road of Archer’s back parking lot is slick and covered with large puddles. This past week, Los Angeles has experienced rain, hail and a drop in temperature.

By Emily Paschall, Senior Reporter

It’s not every day students in Los Angeles see hail falling from the sky and light layers of slick ice covering the ground. However, according to Weather Channel, there were drastically low temperatures and cold conditions that consisted of hail, rain and icy grounds this past week.

California was hit by a winter storm Thursday, Feb. 23, that followed flash flood and blizzard warnings. In Los Angeles, dark clouds have blanketed the sky, and rain has poured down for two consecutive days.

Facilities staff member Enrique Montoya said it does not often hail at Archer, so these recent weather conditions have been new experiences for students, faculty and staff. To ensure the safety of those on campus, faculty and administrators have been taking appropriate precautions, including canceling across-the-street privileges and placing proper signage in icy areas.

Freshman Lily Savage has attended Archer since sixth grade and said she had never seen it hail throughout her time there. Savage said when hearing the announcement Associate Head of School for Finance and Operations Jane Davis made about the hail, she and her peers felt excited.

“It was first period English class, and we were doing our Shakespeare performance projects. Mr. Russo [said], ‘Oh it’s raining,’ and we were all cheering because who doesn’t love rain?” Savage said. “We heard the hail on the window … It was really cool.”

Montoya has worked at Archer for 12 years and said he was shocked because Los Angeles doesn’t get hail often. He said a challenge from the weather conditions was having to close off outdoor lunch areas, and students adjusted by moving to indoor spaces, like the library and dining hall. Montoya’s role this week was leading the facilities team in effectively managing the impacts of the hail and rain.

My role in the facilities team is to make sure that our facility is in the best condition possible for everyone to be healthy and [making sure] the environment is useful for everyone,” Montoya said. “We look at the weather situation on a daily basis and then, according to that, we prepare for a storm.” 

With icy and wet weather conditions, Davis said she has enforced Archer’s safety procedures by canceling across-the-street privileges Thursday, Feb. 23. She also gave an announcement over the speakers to make students aware of the slippery conditions around campus.

“We didn’t want people to be going out in that weather, just in case something really bad happened. But, we are prepared — as always — to pivot when we need to,” Davis said. “One of the things I asked the facilities team to look into yesterday was [finding] some salt to put out for the ice. And the answer was no, nobody has that here in Los Angeles. So that might be something we might want to acquire and keep in our emergency preparedness supplies for the future.”