California experiences unprecedented winter storm: Newsom declares state of emergency


Lexiss Marajas

The heavy snowfall has blanketed the mountains of California, creating breathtaking winter landscapes but also posing challenges for transportation and recreation in the region.

In the past couple of weeks, California has been hit by a winter storm that has affected cities around the state, including those in the Bay Area. As a result of the heavy rainfall and snowstorms ravaging certain regions, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in some counties. 

“I live near Lake Tahoe and [the storm] drastically affected my livelihood; traffic was horrible, and I spent a major part of my day shoveling inches and inches of snow off of my drive-way. This problem never happened to me, living here for several years,” said Truckee resident Lorna Castillo. 

The heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures have caused significant disruptions in California, affecting transportation, tourism, and daily life for many residents. Many roads and highways have been closed due to hazardous conditions, and several national parks, including Yosemite, have been closed to visitors. The snow has also caused power outages and other infrastructure issues.

“My neighborhood has experienced numerous power outages and we haven’t even been affected by the storm. Because of the amount of outages going around across Pleasanton, it goes to show that California is not well prepared for the snow, ” said Avij Singh (‘25).

Support groups, such as the Red Cross, have helped people with the weather conditions and provided them with shelter and resources. Newsom also the National Guard to assist with rescue and recovery.

“The governor sending the National Guard shows that the situation at hand is extremely serious. Many people are suffering through this treacherous storm and the people in this situation need all the help we can provide,” said Castillo.

The snow had a significant impact on Pleasanton and Amador, although snow was not seen. In Pleasanton, hail and rain was seen across the city, leading to power outages in many neighborhoods. Amador Valley has also experienced internet and water shortages because of the storm.

“Places like Amador Valley were affected by the snow most definitely. This goes to show that California was not ready for a situation this drastic and the unexpected snow can display how climate change can be playing a role in this. The amount of snow seen in recent weeks shows how under-prepared we are,” said Riley Young (‘24).

In conclusion, California has experienced a winter season of unprecedented storms, brining much-needed relief from years of drought, but also causing significant disruptions and safety concerns for residents and visitors alike.