STORY: Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall in California on Sunday – the first storm of its kind to hit Los Angeles County since 1939.
It triggered flash floods in mountainous and desert areas of the state. The city of Palm Springs typically gets only around four-and-a-half inches of rain in a year, but videos on Sunday showed cars driving through flooded streets, and it was forecast the area could get six to ten inches from Hilary.
[DJ Hilton, Cathedral City resident]
“It is a bit unprecedented. We’ve had storms before, but never anything quite this windy and rainy at the same time. I have a friend who just saw a 60-foot carport get blown off of his neighbor’s house and carried four houses up. And there are also a few very large downed trees around the area.”
Authorities on Monday declared a state of emergency for much of Southern California, with flash flood warnings in effect.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the areas expect more heavy downpours to come.
[Karen Bass, Los Angeles Mayor]
“The city has opened the most emergency temporary shelters for unhoused Angelinos experiencing homelessness to provide relief from extreme weather since at least 2020 and we will continue to address these issues. Right now, it is critical that Angelinos stay safe and stay home unless directed otherwise by safety officials.”
Hundreds of flights in San Diego, Las Vegas and Los Angeles were canceled.
Classes in San Diego and Los Angeles – the two largest school districts in the state – were also suspended.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday said President Joe Biden ordered federal agencies to move personnel and supplies into the region.
And as Storm Hilary was closing in, a 5.1-magnitude quake also shook the region. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Before Hilary made its way to California, it swept past the Baja California peninsula in Mexico.
One person died amid reports of flash flooding. Nearly 1,900 people were evacuated to shelters, according to Mexico’s army.