Hurricane Hilary leaves parts of California, Mexico flooded
Sep 16, 2023
Southern Californians are assessing the damage caused by tropical storm Hillary, which brought unseasonably hard rains to the West Coast and Mexico through the end of the weekend and into Monday.
The storm — previously a category 4 hurricane with 145-mph winds — reached land in Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula Sunday. At least one person drowned. The storm made its way into the U.S. after soaking Tijuana.
Parts of California, including Palm Springs, Calif., experienced more than three inches of rainfall Sunday. That’s half the amount of rain the area normally sees in a year. Prior to the weekend, the last time a tropical storm hit California was at the start of World War II.
A bridge is flooded over as tropical storm Hilary makes landfall in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Aug. 20, 2023. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
The National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center warned Californians Monday morning of ongoing dangerous conditions.
“Across the Southwestern United States, the ongoing and historic amount of rainfall is expected to cause life-threatening to locally catastrophic flash, urban and arroyo flooding including landslides, mudslides and debris flows today,” officials said.
Localized flooding was expected to continue Tuesday in northern parts of California’s Intermountain West.
Rescue workers retrieved over a dozen homeless people from a flooded encampment near the San Diego River. The 1.82 inches of rain that fell on San Diego made for the city’s wettest August day ever, slightly topping the previous record of 1.8 inches San Diegans saw on Aug. 17, 1977.
Schools in the city were set to start the school year on Monday. They now plan to open Tuesday. Los Angeles public schools also closed Monday.
A toppled tree from the tropical storm covers a car in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. Tropical Storm Hilary drenched Southern California from the coast to the desert resort city of Palm Springs and inland mountains, forcing rescuers to pull several people from swollen rivers. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio) (Stefanie Dazio/AP)
While heavy rains were forecast for Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported an unexpected 5.1 magnitude earthquake 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles at 2:41 p.m. local time. It caused no known injuries.
Water had to be pumped out of the emergency room of Riverside County’s Eisenhower Medical Center Sunday, according to the Associated Press. Eisenhower Health said on Facebook its ambulance bay was flooded, but “no patient care areas were affected.”
Technical issues left Palm Springs police without access to 911 phone lines Monday morning.
Pedestrians look towards a flooded waterway as tropical storm Hilary makes landfall in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Aug. 20, 2023. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Aerial footage of Dodger Stadium posted online Sunday night showed flooding around the ballpark, where Sunday’s game against the Miami Marlins had to be rescheduled. The first-place Dodgers begin a road trip Tuesday that keeps them away from L.A. for a week.
The extreme weather in California comes less than two weeks after wildfires in Hawaii, boosted by powerful winds, killed more than 100 people. Accuweather experts plan to monitor “several areas for development across the tropical basin” as Florida and Texas prepare for hurricane season.
With News Wire Services