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Tropical Storm Hilary Brings Flooding to California

Tropical Storm Hilary Brings Flooding to California

Tropical Storm Hilary Brings Flooding to California

Tropical Storm Hilary Brings Flooding to California

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  • Rare event for typically arid southwestern US.
  • Concerns of life-threatening flooding arise.
  • 5.1 magnitude earthquake near Ojai, no immediate damage reported.

Heavy rains drenched California on Sunday as Tropical Storm Hilary surged in from Mexico, prompting concerns of potentially life-threatening flooding in the usually arid southwestern region of the United States.

Adding to the tension, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the town of Ojai in southern California, although there were no immediate reports of harm or damage.

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As of Sunday afternoon, Tropical Storm Hilary’s core reached California with sustained winds of up to 95 kilometers per hour, following its trajectory up Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. This rare tropical weather event was moving at a brisk pace of 37 kilometers per hour, as reported by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

By Sunday night, the NHC issued warnings of “potentially historic” rainfall that could lead to “life-threatening to locally catastrophic flash, urban, and arroyo flooding” in specific areas of the state until early Monday.

An ABC affiliate locally broadcasted videos of intense flooding in portions of Palm Springs, located outside of Los Angeles. Additionally, the National Park Service announced the closure of Death Valley National Park due to “hazardous flood conditions.”

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass cautioned, “This is an unprecedented weather event.”

In response to the looming danger, beaches were closed, and residents hurried to stores to secure essential supplies. Flash flood and tornado warnings were also issued for certain regions.

Although Hilary was previously classified as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the second-most potent category, it was downgraded to a tropical storm as it headed toward Tijuana, the densely populated Mexican border city.

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Despite the weakening, Deanne Criswell, administrator of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), urged people to remain cautious. She emphasized on media, “Hurricane Hilary poses a serious impact and threat to southern California.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom responded to the potential danger by declaring a state of emergency for a significant portion of the southern area.

As the storm approached, he took to social media, writing, “Stay safe, California.”

Authorities took proactive measures by establishing five storm shelters and deploying over 7,500 personnel, including several hundred National Guard soldiers and swift water rescue teams, according to Newsom’s office.

Preparations for potential flooding were seen in San Diego, where residents filled sandbags, and lifeguards advised against entering the sea due to heightened risks.

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