Hilary, now an intense Category 4 hurricane, is expected to hit land in Baja California, Mexico, on Sunday. It will then weaken into a tropical storm and move into California Sunday night.
The first tropical storm watch in California’s history has just been issued. The watch is in effect for parts of Southern California, including San Diego, Palm Springs, Riverside, and Los Angeles.
Southern California is preparing for heavy rain, flash flooding that could be the worst ever, mudslides, and strong winds from Sunday night to Monday morning.
Sunday will see the heaviest rainfall from Palm Springs to the Mexican border in Southern California. Some desert regions may receive an entire year’s worth of precipitation in just one or two days.
Preparations Amidst Approaching Storm
The National Park Service has issued an advisory for flash flooding in Joshua Tree National Park.
Donovan Smith, a park ranger for the National Park Service, told ABC News on Friday, “We are starting a phased closure process and will be fully closed within the next 36 hours.”
The park’s management will be assessing the park and conditions as the storm progresses, he said. “We’ve closed the park for weather conditions in the past, but this level of storm is quite new for this area,” Smith said.
This extremely rare event may also cause flash flooding in the greater Southwest region, including Las Vegas. Some areas could receive as much as 10 inches of precipitation.
Sheriff Robert Luna of Los Angeles County told reporters on Friday afternoon that the county’s various emergency response and management teams have already begun preparing for the storm.
He mentioned that water rescue personnel and rescue aircraft are on high alert and ready for immediate response and that county responders have already reached out to the homeless population.
“I don’t think any of us [ever] thought [we’d] be standing here talking about a hurricane or a tropical storm,” Luna said. Additionally, beachgoers in Southern California should be mindful of the high surf.
Major League Baseball issued a statement on Friday announcing that the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and Los Angeles Angels have rescheduled their Sunday games due to the storm.
President Joe Biden said Friday that his “team is closely monitoring” the storm. “FEMA has prepositioned personnel and supplies in the region, and they’re ready,” Biden said. “I urge everyone in the path of this storm to take precautions and listen to the guidance from state and local officials.”
In Mexico, a hurricane watch was issued in Baja, California, where rough seas, scattered showers, and thunderstorms are in the forecast for Saturday.
A hurricane prevention zone has been established from north of Punta Abreojos to Punta Eugenia in Baja California Sur, the Mexican secretary of the environment said Friday. Ships are urged to take “extreme precaution” due to the strong winds, and high waves forecast for the area.
Cabo San Lucas is subject to a tropical storm watch. Hilary’s outer bands could graze the popular resort town, but the hurricane is not expected to strike Cabo directly.
Source: abc NEWS