Tropical Storm Hilary is battering California with heavy rains


After making landfall in Mexico earlier Sunday, Tropical Storm Hillary has crossed the border into California, where it is bringing heavy rain. Turning roads into gushing streams, officials warn of potentially deadly floods.

We are not used to this level of precipitation in general. Certainly not in the middle of summer,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria told CNN’s Jim Acosta Sunday afternoon, saying he was concerned about potential power outages due to winds as well as flooding. “We weren’t built for that kind of rain.”

Authorities across Southern California pleaded with residents not to drive, warning of mudslides, deteriorating roads, dangerous debris flows and flooding, as some communities declared states of emergency to respond to the storm. A California official has warned that Hillary could be among the most destructive storms to hit the state in recent years.

National Weather Service He said Parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties were already experiencing “severe flooding” on Sunday night, writing on social media, “This is a life threatening flood!”

A driver removes his belongings from his car after he got stuck on a flooded street in Palm Desert, Calif., on Sunday, August 20.

Cars were stuck in the flood waters and rescue operations were being conducted by the local authorities, the service He said.

Hillary’s heart — in other words, her epicenter — crossed into Southern California on Sunday night, but the state was beginning to feel the effects of the storm more often. Earlier in the day precipitation totals are added. Parts of Palm Springs saw more than two inches of water in just six hours Sunday — nearly half of what averaged over an entire year, the weather service reported. He said.

And with the day not yet over, several other rainfall records were broken Sunday, including in downtown Los Angeles, Burbank and Palmdale.

In Palm Springs, the city manager declared a local emergency due to “unprecedented rainfall and flooding,” with city officials saying a quick water rescue had already taken place by Sunday afternoon.

Live Updates: Tropical Storm Hillary is bringing major flooding risks to California

Although the storm is expected to weaken, it will continue to batter the region with severe weather as it moves further into the United States.

In Arizona, authorities issued Evacuation orders in parts of Lake Mead National Park urge residents to seek higher ground before potential flooding. Nevada’s governor declared a state of emergency Sunday as the storm approached.

More than 1,000 flights in, in or out of the United States were canceled on Sunday and more than 4,900 flights were delayed. The three hardest hit airports are all within Hillary’s radius: Harry Reid International Airport in Nevada, San Diego International Airport, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, according to

And while Hillary sounded flood warnings across Los Angeles, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the region and other parts of Southern California on Sunday afternoon, according to The Guardian. United States Geological Survey.

More than 7 million people, including those in downtown Los Angeles, are under a flash flood warning as of early Monday morning. Parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties could see up to 1.5 inches of rain dumped per hour, according to the National Weather Service. He said.

Schools in the San Diego Unified School District announce The first day of the school year will be postponed to Tuesday. The Los Angeles Unified District, the second-largest school district in the country, as well He said Schools will be closed on Monday.

Hillary’s weakness from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm before making landfall over the northern Baja California Peninsula early Sunday.

At least one death was attributed to the storm. A person died when their car was washed away near Santa Rosalia in Mexico, along the Baja California Peninsula, Mexican officials said in a news release Saturday.

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a Emergency Saturday in a wide area of ​​Southern California to support hurricane response and recovery efforts.

At a press conference on Saturday, “It could be one of the most devastating storms we’ve hit California in over a decade,” warned Hillary, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Nancy Ward.

Parts of California, Nevada, and Arizona that are not used to rain may suddenly get a year’s worth or more. And along the coast, large waves that Hillary is generating will likely create life-threatening waves and rip current conditions.

Death Valley saw three times the average August rainfall in just a few hours Sunday morning. Nearly a month’s worth of rain fell in one hour on Sunday. It usually receives an average of 0.21 inch of rain throughout the entire month of August, but the Furnace Creek lookout site has reported 0.63 inch since Sunday morning.

Roads within Death Valley National Park are expected to eventually become “impassable,” the park said on its Instagram, sharing images that showed floodwaters flowing. ways.

Flood waters from Tropical Storm Hillary cover a road in Death Valley National Park in Sunda.

The threat triggered California’s first tropical storm warning stretching from the state’s southern border to just north of Los Angeles — marking an “unprecedented weather event” for a city with “profound experience” in responding to natural disasters like wildfires and earthquakes, said Mayor Karen Bass. . at a press conference.

“It is of the utmost importance that Angelenos stay safe and stay home unless otherwise directed by safety officials,” Bass said. “If you don’t need to be on the road, please don’t get in your car. Make sure you have your essential emergency kit and devices available. And make sure all of your devices are charged in case of a life-threatening emergency.”

Residents of the San Bernardino County communities of Oak Glen, Forest Falls, Mountain Home Village, Angelus Oaks, and Northeast Yucaipa were all I ordered an evacuation Saturday.

Visitors and some residents of Catalina Island, which is part of California’s Channel Islands, were “encouraged” to leave the island ahead of the storm in New release From the city of Avalon.

Meanwhile, helicopters from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office It was flying over the riverbed areas on Saturday afternoons, making announcements in both English and Spanish to warn homeless people of bad weather.

Los Angeles opened three additional emergency shelters on Sunday and provided transportation to help get more people to safety before the storm — bringing the total number of emergency shelters open to eight.

A submerged car drives through a flooded highway entrance in Palmdale, California.

Concern about deserts and areas of modern burning

Authorities said California is particularly focused on preparing residents in areas that typically receive the least rainfall, or that have been recently burned by wildfires.

“We’re keeping a close eye on our desert regions, east of San Diego and Los Angeles. Said Brian Ferguson, deputy director of California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

A mailbox stands on a flooded residential street in Palmdale, California, as the storm moves into the area, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023.

Long burn scars from wildfires can create a steep, textured surface for water and debris to flow into. People living on the slopes and downstream of the burned areas are very vulnerable to floods and debris flows.

“Precipitation that would normally be absorbed will run off so quickly after a wildfire that burnt soil can be as water-repellent as pavement,” the National Weather Service said.

in Orange CountyA voluntary evacuation warning has been issued for Silverado Canyon and Williams Canyon in the Bondfire burn area due to potential debris flows along or near the burn scar.

Residents were offered sandbags to fortify their properties in counties across Southern California, where some of the natural barriers against flooding had been burned.