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Coastal Regions Brace for Impact as Hurricane Hilary Poses ‘Catastrophic’ Flooding Risk

by Lucas Garcia
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fokus keyword: Hurricane Hilary

A lessening Hurricane Hilary is on course for Mexico’s Baja California, with Saturday’s forecast by the U.S. National Hurricane Center warning of “devastating and life-endangering floods” in the peninsula, and for the southwestern U.S., where it is expected to arrive as a tropical storm on Sunday.

As far north as Los Angeles, authorities hustled to get the homeless into shelters, establish emergency accommodations, and gear up for possible evacuations.

Saturday night is when Hilary is anticipated to strike Mexico’s Baja peninsula before speeding northwards, making history as the first tropical storm to reach Southern California in 84 years.

Southern California’s broad region, encompassing coastal areas to interior mountains and deserts, was alerted by the U.S. National Hurricane Center with tropical storm and potential flooding warnings.

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John Cangialosi, a top hurricane expert at the National Hurricane Center, noted the anticipated “unprecedented, lethal, and possibly catastrophic downpour for Southern California and a substantial part of the desert southwest overall,” with rainfall equivalent to an annual total for these regions expected from this event.

To aid in emergency measures, Mexico’s Navy cleared 850 individuals from Baja islands, while almost 3,000 troops were dispatched. In Nevada, Governor Joe Lombardo called up 100 Nevada National Guardsmen for support in areas that may face flash floods over the weekend.

Talks were underway regarding evacuation strategies for California’s Catalina Island.

Janice Hahn, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, expressed disbelief, stating, “I never anticipated standing here discussing a hurricane or a tropical storm.”

Hilary, after gaining force rapidly on Friday, weakened by Saturday but persisted as a significant Category 3 hurricane with top sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph), a decrease from 145 mph (230 kph) at its strongest.

By Saturday noon, the hurricane was situated around 350 miles (570 kilometers) south-southeast of Punta Eugenia on Mexico’s southern Baja peninsula. It’s predicted to graze Punta Eugenia before striking a thinly populated part of the Baja peninsula near Ensenada.

Still 710 miles (1,145 kilometers) south-southeast of San Diego, California, the storm was moving at 16 mph (26 kph) north-northwest and is likely to turn north, accelerating.

The hurricane’s heavy rains may lead to dangerous floods in Tijuana, where homes of the 1.9 million inhabitants are often precariously situated.

Tijuana’s Mayor Montserrat Caballero Ramirez declared the city’s preparation, highlighting the city’s vulnerability due to its position and topography.

U.S. apprehension was growing as well.

Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve were closed by the National Park Service to avoid stranding people amid floods. Cities in the region, including Arizona, made sandbags available for flood protection. Some Major League Baseball games were rescheduled in Southern California.

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputies were encouraging homeless individuals to find shelter, with authorities providing assistance.

SpaceX postponed a satellite-carrying rocket launch from California’s central coast until at least Monday, citing potential difficulties in recovering the rocket booster in the Pacific.

President Joe Biden announced FEMA’s preparations in the region on Friday, urging caution and obedience to local officials’ guidance.

In Southern California, officials fortified sand barriers designed to shield coastal communities, like in Huntington Beach, known as “Surf City USA.”

Newport Beach resident Tanner Atkinson expressed excitement about the heavy waves but concern over potential floods and landslides.

Approximately 100 people sought safety in storm shelters in Baja’s twin resorts of Los Cabos. Firefighters rescued a family in San Jose del Cabo, following severe rain and wind in the resort.

Temporary shelters were being arranged in schools in Cabo San Lucas and other areas, with police patrols keeping swimmers away from turbulent surf in La Paz. Several municipalities closed schools.

The National Weather Service’s San Diego office said that heavy rain was anticipated to commence as early as Saturday, and Hilary was likely to reach California as a tropical storm on Sunday.

The hurricane could bring substantial rainfall to the southwestern U.S., pouring 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters), even up to 10 inches (25 centimeters), in certain parts of southern California and southern Nevada.

“Two to three inches of rainfall in Southern California is unheard of” at this time, stated Kristen Corbosiero, a specialist in Pacific hurricanes. The area could experience once-in-a-century rains, and Nevada might even break its rainfall record, according to meteorologist Jeff Masters.

Contributions to this report were made by Big Big News writers Seth Borenstein, Maria Verza, Mark Stevenson, John Antczak, and Eugene Garcia from various locations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: Hurricane Hilary

What areas are predicted to be impacted by Hurricane Hilary?

Mexico’s Baja California is expected to be impacted by Hurricane Hilary, along with the southwestern United States, including Southern California. Warnings of “catastrophic and life-endangering floods” have been issued for these regions.

What measures are officials taking in preparation for Hurricane Hilary?

Officials are evacuating the homeless, establishing emergency shelters, preparing for evacuations, fortifying sand barriers, providing sandbags for flood protection, and deploying troops for emergency operations. In some regions, authorities have closed parks and rescheduled events.

When is Hurricane Hilary expected to hit Southern California?

Hilary is expected to plow into Mexico’s Baja peninsula on Saturday night and reach Southern California as a tropical storm on Sunday.

What is the significance of Hurricane Hilary hitting Southern California?

Hilary will be entering the history books as the first tropical storm to hit Southern California in 84 years.

How are authorities helping the vulnerable populations, like the homeless?

Authorities in areas like Los Angeles are working to get homeless individuals into shelters and providing food, cots, and accommodations for those in need.

What are the expected weather conditions from Hurricane Hilary?

Hilary is expected to bring heavy rainfall, with amounts ranging from 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters), and isolated amounts up to 10 inches (25 centimeters), in portions of southern California and southern Nevada. The rain could lead to dangerous flooding and landslides.

Who are the key government agencies and officials involved in managing the response to Hurricane Hilary?

The U.S. National Hurricane Center, FEMA, local authorities, Mexico’s Navy, and state officials such as Nevada’s Governor Joe Lombardo are all involved in managing the response to Hurricane Hilary. President Joe Biden has also addressed the preparations and urged caution.

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5 comments

Maria Gonzales August 19, 2023 - 9:14 pm

its so scary. Im praying for the people in baja california, hope the govt is really preapred.

Reply
Timothy James August 19, 2023 - 10:06 pm

first time in 84 years? that’s historic, Folks need to listen to warnings and take care.

Reply
John Smith August 20, 2023 - 6:51 am

Can’t believe Hilary is coming to Southern Cali! I hope every1 stays safe, this weather’s crazy.

Reply
Sally O'Connor August 20, 2023 - 1:13 pm

My family’s in San Diego, really worried about them. they have sandbags and stuff but still…

Reply
Jake Miller August 20, 2023 - 6:01 pm

The rain might be cool for us, but the floods and landslides ain’t. Stay safe everyone, listen to the weather warnings!

Reply

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