Water had risen from about a foot deep to around knee-high before Darrick Yray was able to hop in his rental car and find some sense of relief.
The heavy rain beating on the front windshield, however, quickly reminded him that a workday that had turned uncomfortable was only just beginning.
Time to drive through the treacherous rain in Colorado — even in the face of news clips of rising waters in and around his destination of Boulder and a presidential disaster declaration.
"That trip was a little different for me than usual," Yray said with a smile. "Sometimes, those things come and you just have to adjust."
As the Fresno State football team's assistant director of operations, Yray (pronounced Ray) is tasked with arriving a day ahead of the Bulldogs on road trips. He ensures accommodations are in place and other needs addressed.
Are the buses waiting when the team charter lands? Are there enough rooms and keys for a traveling party that includes not only players and coaches but also support staff and administrators? Does head coach Tim DeRuyter have his suite reserved and set up?
Yray, 24, is responsible to make sure all that and more is in place, while Coordinator of Football Operations Mike McHugh sticks with the team through its travel.
If last-second problems arise, big or small, it often falls to Yray to find a quick solution.
"He's like an offensive lineman," DeRuyter said. "You only notice when he's around when something goes wrong. When things aren't noticeable, he's doing a great job. A lot of times, it's a thankless job.
"We know, though, that D-Ray is one of those guys (who) does a lot of things behind the scenes to make the operational side of things go smoothly."
For the trip heading into the Sept. 14 game at Colorado, Yray's responsibilities actually increased. He left Thursday morning, as usual a day ahead of the team's scheduled departure for the Saturday game.
But in addition to checking on the hotel set-up, purchasing enough bottled water and Gatorade, and setting up the bus trip to and from the airport, he became Fresno State's eyes and ears in Colorado and relayed updates on conditions in and around Boulder.
Colorado officials continued to say the game was on, so planning for the trip continued as well.
Sitting in his rental car at the Denver airport as intense rain fell, Yray turned on the navigation system for directions to the team hotel.
What was said to be a 35-minute drive, however, took 3 hours as he traveled flooded streets and muddy roads and weaved his way around stalled cars and storm debris.
"I'd never seen anything like it," Yray said. "It was just so much rain. So much water. I was a little concerned. Everything was flooded. I could've hydroplaned many times."
Still, Yray was optimistic about the game's fate after arriving in Boulder. Colorado's Folsom Field sits atop a hill and had avoided the flooding, and by Friday morning the weather had cleared a bit with blue skies and a ray of sun appearing for the first time that week.
But an hour before the team's scheduled takeoff, Colorado Chancellor Phillip P. DiStefano called off the game.
The timing worked out for the Bulldogs, as players and coaches avoided flying all the way out only to immediately fly back. Players never even got on the bus for the airport.
Yray, of course, was still near the disaster zone — by himself with close to 100 rooms still booked and supplies already purchased.
"I think he ended up sleeping in my suite," DeRuyter later joked.
Yray took on new challenges — working to get at least partial refunds on the rooms and making arrangements to return the Gatorade and water. He stayed in Colorado until Saturday night.
"It was a long trip," Yray said. "And we didn't even play."
This week's trip is longer, at least distance-wise. For Fresno State's game Saturday at Hawaii, Yray left Wednesday while the rest of the team was scheduled to fly out to the island later today.
It is road trips like these that provide at least a little side benefit to the job.
"He told me he had to leave last week for Hawaii to make sure everything was set, but we said, 'No, one day in advance should be fine,' " DeRuyter kidded again.
Yray's sense of humor is one of the reasons he survived the staff turnover two years ago when the program transitioned from former coach Pat Hill, DeRuyter said. Yray had been a student-assistant coach, but DeRuyter kept him aboard and moved him to his current job also because of his work ethic and attention to detail.
Yray said he'd like to get into coaching at some point. For now, Yray — who earned his bachelor's in communication from Fresno State in 2011 and a master's in kinesiology in 2013 — enjoys getting an up-close look of what it takes to be a college coach, while also learning what it takes to run a program behind the scenes.
Today on Oahu the team will find him back at work ensuring the team hotel at the Turtle Bay Resort is set and that players and coaches again have plenty to drink at their disposal. He also will help McHugh coordinate team meals and details such as the police escort to and from Aloha Stadium.
"This trip should go smoother," Yray said. "No crazy rain or natural disasters this trip — fingers crossed. If something happens, we'll just have to figure things out on the fly. It's part of the job."
Hittin' the road
No. 25 FRESNO STATE AT HAWAII
Vitals: 9 p.m. Saturday
Records: Bulldogs 3-0; Rainbow Warriors 0-3
TV: KSEE (Channel 24.1)
Radio: KFIG (AM 940); KGST (AM 1600)
Line: Bulldogs -18.5
Of note: Hawaii is averaging just 12 points per game in its three losses this season. Fresno State has given up nearly 39 points per game in its three wins.
More inside: Pac-12 conference play gets rolling this week, Page B6
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6362, email@example.com, Banteola_TheBee on Twitter.