SMS Breaking News
  • The Grizzly Gazette is going on vacation all the way to August 2024. We will come back next school year!
  • Welcome Sepulveda Grizzlies!
  • TODAY is Monday, June 11, 2024.

The Grizzly Gazette

The Student News Site of Sepulveda Middle School


The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Hurriquake 2023, Part 2 – A Historic Event! Where were our Grizzlies?

Tropical Storm Hilary and a 5.1 earthquake happen in SoCal on the same day. Who baked cookies and watched the rain or made a chocolate cream pie to relieve stress? Who lost power? Who got flooded? Who made sure our classrooms were dry and safe? Read more to find out.
(GG Photo Archive)
Seeing double at SMS after a storm in early 2023.


When we got back to campus, we took some time on Tuesday to catch up with SMS Grizzlies and ask them about their Hurriquake experiences. Here’s what we learned!

Question:  Where were you and what did you experience during Tropical Storm Hilary on Sunday, August 20th?

Sun through clouds at Pierson Walk. (GG Photo Archive)

Mr. Vinarsky, School Climate Advocate: “I was at home watching tv, laying down on the couch.”

Ms. Delgadillo: “I was at home watching Netflix, baking cookies, and watching the rain.”

Ms. Diaz: “I was landing at LAX coming from Chicago when the storm hit.”

Mr. Rodriguez, Assistant Principal: “I was making sure that I did not get water into my house.”

Ms. Crow, teacher-librarian: “I was at home in Chatsworth. We had a lot of wind and rain, especially because we live near the hills. It rained so much that our ceiling started leaking.”

Mr. Dominique; “The power went out at my home in Hollywood from Sunday to Monday.”

Mr. Acevedo, couselor: “I experienced some light flooding.”


Question: Did you feel the earthquake at 2:41 pm? What were you doing?

Chris Martinez, student: “ I was at the store working. The bottles started falling and the chips were shaking.”

Nurse Carol: “I was washing dishes.”

Stormy weather at SMS in 2023. (GG Photo Archive)

Maria Mejia, 8th grader: “I was walking with a cup of water and spilled it all over my hands.”

Mr. Press, Assistant Principal: “I was in my house when I felt the first shake. I knew a bigger one was coming, and it did. Then, I checked on my kids and said, ‘don’t worry. It was most likely a 4.5.’ I was close!”

 Jose Tovar, 8th grader: “I was playing on my PS4.”

Ms. Geffre: “I was at home laying down and I felt it. It felt like my house was rolling.I live really close to Ojai. Things were falling off my shelf.”

Isabel Martel, 8th grader: “I was doing a handstand on my bed because I got bored and I nearly hit the ground when the earthquake hit.”

Mr. Estrada: “At the time, I was in the middle of a gaming session with my friends. The screen began to shake as a game explosion flashed before my eyes. I thought it was part of the game until I noticed the rest of my room was shaking as well.”

Itzel Rayez, student: “Yes, I felt it. I was half-asleep playing a game on my Switch. Then my bed started shaking and I got scared.”

Ms. Crow: “I did feel the earthquake. I was reading Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, and I felt the rolling and shaking sensation of the earthquake. I was NOT HAPPY! After it was over, I made chocolate cream pie to assist with my mental health. 🙂”

Ms. Sharon, security: “I was at the supermarket when the earthquake happened. I was used to it.”


Question: What was it like for you when the school building closed on Monday?

Blue skies after a storm in 2023. (GG Photo Archive)

Ms. Geffre: “I felt happy that I didn’t have to drive.”

Mr. Dominique: “I think school should not have closed because it wasn’t raining anymore.”

Mr. Acevedo: “I worked from home.”

Mr. Rodriguez: “I was making sure that there was no water in classrooms and did paperwork.”

Mr. Crews: “I felt grateful because it gave me time to spend with my family.”

Mr. Vinarsky: “I was sad because I didn’t get to see students. I love to come to work.”

Jose Tovar: “I felt happy and good that I got to stay home.”

What was it like for you during Tropical Storm Hilary? What were you doing during the 5.1 earthquake? Share your experience by emailing to [email protected] . Make sure to include your full name and grade or staff position. This story may be updated to include more SMS stories in the coming days.

Editor’s Note: This article series was written by the entire Period 5 Journalism / YB class in one class period as a whole-class “Breaking News” project. Everyone contributed. Everyone worked really hard  as a team for the 68 minutes of class time. Each of the 31 students in the class participated in either doing research or interviewing other Grizzlies for this series of articles. Maybe you saw us all in the halls, asking questions, writing things down. That’s what we do! We ask questions so that everyone at SMS can know the news. Thanks to all who gave quick interviews and supported our effort to publish this story in a timely manner. To jump to Part 1, please follow the link:

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Grizzly Gazette Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest