Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Southern California in response to Hurricane Hilary. The state is mobilizing and coordinating resources to prepare for the storm's anticipated impacts. The emergency proclamation allows for additional support and resources to be allocated to aid in response and recovery efforts.
Hurricane Hilary weakened from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm before making landfall on the northern Baja California Peninsula. Despite the weakening, the storm still poses a significant threat, with potentially life-threatening flooding expected in mountain and desert areas.
The Los Angeles Unified School District, serving 429,000 students, has announced the closure of schools on Monday due to the storm. The San Diego Unified School District has also closed schools for Monday.
Hilary made landfall on the coast of Baja California, approximately 215 miles south-southeast of San Diego. The storm is moving north-northwest parallel to the coast, with sustained winds of 65 mph. Torrential rains have been falling in the area since Saturday, leading to disastrous flash flooding.
Southern California is experiencing its first-ever Tropical Storm Warning, with catastrophic flooding expected. Some areas may receive up to 8 inches of rain through Tuesday evening. The storm has already caused catastrophic flooding in the northern Baja California Peninsula and claimed at least one life.
The National Hurricane Center warns of potentially historic amounts of rainfall, which could cause life-threatening flash flooding, urban flooding, and landslides. Several flood and flash-flood warnings have been issued for Southern California, and severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for areas east of San Diego.
Governor Newsom has met with first responders, local officials, and federal officials to coordinate efforts. The California Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are providing support and assistance as needed.
The storm's impacts are expected to peak over the weekend into Monday, with flooding and potentially life-threatening conditions. Residents are urged to stay safe, stay home, and avoid unnecessary travel. Evacuation warnings have been issued for certain areas at risk of debris flows.
As the storm continues to move through the region, earthquake activity has also been reported, with a magnitude 5.1 earthquake near Ojai, California.
The National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center has issued a rare high-risk warning for excessive rainfall in Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, and Las Vegas. This is the first time such a warning has been given for the low desert regions of Southern California and Nevada.
Overall, the state of emergency declaration and ongoing preparations aim to mitigate the potential impacts of Hurricane Hilary and ensure the safety and well-being of residents in Southern California. The coordination of resources and response efforts will be crucial in managing the storm and its aftermath.
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