Rain puts damper on high school graduation preparations in Hayward

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- Staff and students at a high school in Hayward scrambled on Wednesday to make sure graduation night didn't turn into a soggy celebration. The rain tapered off just in time, but the showers were a surprise; the last thing many expected in the middle of a drought.

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Maintenance crews and students from Mount Eden High School's leadership class used towels, brooms, even leaf blowers to dry the bleachers and seats set up for Wednesday night's graduation ceremony.

"We are looking forward to, rain or shine, that we are going to have a graduation," said Principal Gregory Fobbs. "We've been looking for this obviously for years. This is something that parents are always looking forward to."

Fobbs says they can't move the crowd inside because they don't have the space. An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 guests are expected.

The brown athletic field serves as a reminder of the state's crippling drought. The soggy weather was a bit of a surprise for organizers, following sweltering temperatures in Hayward only a couple days ago.

"We were definitely hoping for better weather," said Sabrina Aranda with Hayward Unified School District. "You know, it's summertime. Our kids are ready to go outside in the weather and swim. And this is not something we expected. But I think here in the Bay Area this is something that is needed and our parents aren't going to let it stop them."

The school called parents, asking them to bring umbrellas and ponchos just in case. Maintenance crews covered the podiums and students will walk on carpet so they don't slip.

Staff members say they're happy to finally get some rain. And even though it's not exactly the best timing, it won't dampen the celebration.

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