Tropical Storm Hilary Unleashes Flooding On Southern California

The first tropical storm to hit Los Angeles in more than 80 years has caused major flooding across Southern California, and officials are continuously urging residents to stay safe. 

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Tropical Storm Hilary is the first tropical storm to hit Los Angeles in more than 80 years. The storm has caused major flooding across Southern California, in areas that are typically used to droughting. Officials are continuously urging the public to stay safe and follow protocols as the damage begins to be assessed. 

On Monday, the National Weather Service changed the classification of the hurricane to a tropical depression, with California Governor Gavin Newsom declaring a state of emergency for a majority of Southern California with flash flood warnings. 

Forecasters also stated that mountain and desert areas could expect 5 to 10 inches of rain, and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass stated that she was worried about citizens not taking the warnings seriously enough, according to reports.

“We know that it could get much worse. My concern is that people will be a little dismissive and go out when we need people to stay at home, to stay safe.”

The weather service has stated that they’re expecting tropical storm Hilary to move quickly across Nevada on Monday while later in the day the storm is likely to dissipate. 

As the storm passed through Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, it killed at least one person in Mexico while causing massive flash flooding, leading to eroded and destroyed streets. As it moved through California on Sunday, it reached San Diego, marking the first tropical storm ever recorded to hit the county. 

This storm also marked the first major storm to hit Los Angeles county since 1939. As the storm swept through Southern California, residents were stunned at the rare severity of the tropical storm, including Sean Julian, a resident who spoke with the media about the storm. 

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“It’s quite amazing. I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m seeing a lot more trees down, and there’s a big tree that just fell over there, and I probably shouldn’t be out here.”

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To the east of Los Angeles, San Bernardino county ordered evacuations of towns located in the mountains and valleys. Images online of the areas showed water, mud, trees, and rocks covering roads and residential areas. 

The National Weather Service warned Ventura county, northwest of Los Angeles, of life-threatening flooding caused by heavy rainfall, which was measured to be around 2 inches in just two hours. 

US President Joe Biden has ordered federal agencies to allocate personnel and supplies into the various regions impacted. Officials reported that Los Angeles county’s high population of homeless people, around 75,000, were especially vulnerable. 

Los Angeles and San Diego counties also canceled school within their districts for Monday due to safety concerns.