Cal Poly announced late Tuesday afternoon that winter quarter classes will start Wednesday after a two-day delay caused by the rainstorm and its damage.

“Many Cal Poly employees, including our custodial, trade shop, housing, dining, public safety and other teams, worked diligently over the past two days to respond to reports of flooding or damage across campus, and we are grateful for their commitment to the safety and well-being of the Cal Poly community,” Public Safety Executive Director Anthony J. Knight wrote in a campus-wide email.

According to a National Weather Service report, the city received 4.14 inches of rain as of Tuesday and is expecting 0.15 inches of more rain in the next 24 hours. 

According to the university email, students who cannot attend class for storm-related issues should communicate with their instructors. The university discouraged instructors from dropping students who are unable to attend class. The add-drop deadline for courses was extended due to the storm, and updated information on the deadlines will be sent out later by the Office of the Registrar.

San Luis Obispo’s shelter in place order, along with flood and wind advisories, all concluded Tuesday morning as Monday’s rainstorm winds down.

Additionally, SLO Transit buses are operating with limited service. Routes 1A, 3A and 4A are still operating, “avoiding flood points due to storm debris and road closures,” according to a city news release.

Cal Poly campus closures

Monday at noon, students and faculty received an emergency notice from Cal Poly regarding the storm impacts on campus facilities. According to the notice, there was concern that Shepard Reservoir was going to breach and impact the agriculture facilities including, “Cal Poly Creamery, bounding Mt. Bishop Rd. between Stenner Creek Rd. and Highland Dr., especially those living north of Parker Ranch.” 

The notice asked faculty and staff to evacuate these areas, adding that the university would be evacuating animals as well.

As of Monday, Cal Poly spokesperson Matt Lazier confirmed a partial breach of the reservoir.

“Shepard’s Reservoir reached maximum capacity yesterday due to inflow from surrounding water runoff,” Lazier told Mustang News, adding that the partial breach impacted the upper Sports Complex, surrounding soccer fields and nearby roadways as the water flowed into surrounding creeks.

Cal Poly’s response to the extreme weather mainly focused on keeping essential functions open for students to utilize. Due to the influx in rain in the past 24 hours, Cal Poly canceled classes for a second day and put stricter guidelines on prior open functions. 

Cal Poly Health & Wellbeing shared on their Instagram that they would keep limited in person services open, including first aid and urgent care as well as the Food Pantry. PULSE, Safer and counseling services are available virtually. 

Additionally, ASI shared altered hours and closures for the Recreation Center, Orfalea Family and ASI Children’s Center, University Union and sports facilities such as the Sports Complex, Doerr Family Field and Poly Escapes Climbing Park and Rental Center.

Campus facilities will reopen on Wednesday — but the Sports Complex remains closed due to the road conditions.

Flood water health concerns 

Amidst the shelter in place order and class cancelations, many students posted their own versions of rainy day activities on the Cal Poly 2026 shared Snapchat college story. Students have been finding “dangerous” ways to pass time on campus, according to the shared story. Around 3 p.m., some students posted a video of a group of individuals sledding down a downhill water stream with the caption, “When life gives you floods.”

Other students have gathered in swimwear to surf, boogie board and kayak in flooded parts of the city. San Luis Obispo has addressed this concern of coming in contact with rain water in a health and safety notice.

According to the notice, health officials are telling residents to avoid driving into flood water and going into flood water, ocean water, lakes and creeks. 

“From a health perspective, it is also important to know that flood waters can contain contaminants that increase the risk of illnesses such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting, and diarrhea,” SLO County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said in the notice. “Even when flooding starts to recede, it’s important to avoid contact with flood water, ocean water, creeks and lakes for several days after a storm.” 

In the notice, the phenomenon Borenstein discusses is called rainstorm runoff; a type of runoff that collects “disease-causing organism such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa from the watershed and urban areas to the ocean.” It is urgent and vital to residents’ health and wellbeing to stay protected from the floods as well as the hazardous flood water itself.