Storm Hilary, having made its landfall earlier in the northern region of the Baja California peninsula, witnessed a gradual weakening over the preceding 48 hours. Despite this, its power remains considerable.
Storm Hilary Entered from Mexico, the storm’s torrential downpours inundated California, prompting urgent evacuation efforts amidst grave flood warnings. Tragic reports emerging from Mexico include at least one confirmed death due to the flooding, with social media platforms, flooded with harrowing images of city streets transformed into swift rivers.
Major disruptions were evident in everyday activities; airports, particularly those in San Diego and Los Angeles, suspended operations, and numerous local events, including sporting fixtures, were called off. San Diego International Airport’s operations were particularly impacted, with the cancellation of around 250 flights on Sunday and a further 382 planned for Monday, as per FlightAware’s data.
Zack Taylor, an esteemed meteorologist affiliated with the National Weather Service (NWS), voiced his concerns in a Reuters interview. Highlighting the storm’s unprecedented nature for the US Southwest, he commented, “It’s not just the rain totals but the intensity.” Areas accustomed to minimal annual rainfall, such as Palm Springs and California’s Death Valley, brace themselves for record rain accumulations, starkly contrasting their usual arid conditions.
The National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) latest advisory underscored the storm’s potency, detailing its sustained winds at 60 mph and its projected path to sweep across Southern California. The NHC warned of storm surges and potentially devastating flooding in certain regions.
Preventive Measures and Responses
Leaders from various cities issued strong advisories to their citizens. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass fervently appealed to the inhabitants of the nation’s second-largest city to remain indoors. She asserted, “If you don’t need to be on the road, please do not get in your car.” In anticipation of possible flood-triggered emergencies, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley confirmed deploying additional fire engines, swift-water teams, urban search squads, and helicopter units for aerial rescues.
Arizona, not to be left behind, took precautionary steps. Local authorities recommended evacuations in specific Lake Mead National Park sectors, emphasizing the looming flood dangers. Similarly, Mayor Todd Gloria officially declared an emergency in San Diego, urging residents to prioritize their safety.
As Storm Hilary continues its path, its profound impact is a stark reminder of nature’s unpredictable might. Residents are urged to heed official advisories and ensure safety during these challenging times.