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California officials warn 'worst of the storm has yet to come' as Hilary makes landfall

Forecasters warn of "life-threatening flooding" as the storm begins to bring rain to the southwestern U.S.

Coverage?on this?live?blog?has?ended. Please?click here?for the latest updates.

Tropical storm Hilary slammed Southern California with a deluge of rainfall, flooding roadways and breaking records in parts of the region on Sunday as it made its historic arrival.?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for much of Southern California, with flash flood warnings in place until the early hours of Monday.?

The National Weather Service warned of record-breaking rainfall and possibly life-threatening impacts. By Sunday evening, several records for daily rainfall amounts had already been broken in the Los Angeles area, the weather service said.

What to know about the storm

  • Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall Sunday on the Baja California peninsula of Mexico, with “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” expected in the region, including across parts of the southwestern U.S., according to the National Hurricane Center.
  • A person drowned Saturday in the Mexican town of Santa Rosalia, on the peninsula’s eastern coast. Rescue workers managed to save four other people, said Edith Aguilar Villavicencio, the mayor of Mulege township.
  • Forecasters warned of "life-threatening" flooding in areas not known for rainfall and said strong winds might down trees and power lines.
  • Several records for daily rainfall amounts were broken for Sunday's date in the Los Angeles area, the National Weather Service said.

Once a Category 4 hurricane, Hilary was downgraded to a tropical depression before reaching California. It was the first tropical storm to hit southern California since 1939.

The storm made landfall on Sunday on the Baja California peninsula of Mexico.?

One person drowned Saturday in the Mexican town of Santa Rosalia on the peninsula’s eastern coast after a vehicle was swept away in an overflowing stream.?

Travel treacherous in San Bernardino County

Search is on for person believed to be in river in Ventura County

Authorities tonight were searching for a person believed to be in the Santa Clara River in Ventura County, the Ventura County Fire Department said.

Two other people were rescued after they were walked out of the river by first responders, the department said on X, the platform formally known as Twitter.

The department was using a helicopter and searchers on the ground to find the third person.

The river runs east-west from the Sierra Pelona Mountains in northern Los Angeles County.

Rainfall records fall in Los Angeles area

Several records for daily rainfall amounts were broken for this date in the Los Angeles area, the National Weather Service said tonight.

The service's official weather station for L.A. at the University of Southern California measured 1.53 inches of rain, breaking the last record for this date, 0.03 in 1906, it said.

At Los Angeles International Airport, a reading of 1.28 inches was much more than needed to break 2002's high mark of "a trace," the weather service said.

Long Beach (1.56 inches), Hollywood Burbank (1.61 inches), Palmdale (2.95 inches), Lancaster (2.72), Sandberg (1.52), Oxnard (0.77) and Santa Barbara airports (0.06) also bested previous showings for this date, it said.

The high temperature of 85 at Santa Maria Airport in Santa Barbara County also beat the previous high mark on this date, 82, set in 2007, according to the weather service.

More school districts in California and Nevada to close Monday

After Los Angeles and San Diego public school districts, the two largest in the state, announced classes were canceled tomorrow, other districts followed suit late today.

They include:

  • The Antelope Valley Union High School District in Lancaster, a high desert city in Los Angeles County.
  • The William S. Hart Union High School District in Santa Clarita, a city in northern Los Angeles County.
  • The Pasadena Unified School District in Pasadena.
  • The Nye County School District in Nye County, Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas.

District officials in Nye County said the decision was made, in part, because county leaders recommended residents shelter in place during the storm.

Charts: Hilary rainfall sends California river levels rising

The National Weather Service tracks river heights across the California. As Hilary moved across the southern end of the state, rainfall from the tropical storm caused river levels to surge.

'Life-threatening flooding' reported along Malibu coastline

The National Weather Service said tonight that "life-threatening flooding" was taking place along the Malibu coastline and in adjacent Ventura County communities.

"THIS IS LIFE THREATENING FLOODING!!!!!!" the service said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Its warning about dangerous flooding applies to the coast from Point Dume to Point Mugu, and it includes the communities of Camarillo, Westlake Village, Somis and Spanish Hills, the weather service said.

The region was under multiple tropical storm and flash flood warnings.

Swift-water rescues were taking place in Spanish Hills, where vehicles were stuck in flooded roadways, the weather service said.


Phoenix Fire Department sending resources to storm zone

The Phoenix Fire Department said today that it's sending a team of 16 to help deal with fallout from Tropical Storm Hilary.

Biden says federal resources are in place to help

NBC News

In a statement this evening, President Joe Biden said that his administration is monitoring Tropical Storm Hilary and that the federal government had positioned resources to help with the response. In advance of landfall, FEMA sent personnel and supplies to California,?and the Coast Guard moved aircraft to be available for rapid response and searches and rescues. Government agencies will continue working with California, Nevada and Arizona to get assistance to needed areas, the statement said.

“I urge people to take this storm seriously, and listen to state and local officials,” the statement said.

San Bernardino County declares emergency

San Bernardino County, one of the inland areas forecast to be hard hit by Tropical Storm Hilary, declared a local state of emergency today.

The declaration will clear the way for quicker state and federal assistance, the county said in a statement.

Sheriff Shannon Dicus said Gov. Gavin Newsom visited the county's emergency operations center earlier. "Armed with insights, he could declare a state of emergency, if needed," the sheriff said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Late yesterday, the sheriff's department said mandatory evacuations were in effect for communities in the path of Hilary's torrential rains: Oak Glen, Forest Falls, Mountain Home Village, Angelus Oaks and Northeast Yucaipa.

San Diego ramped up homeless outreach in lead-up to Hilary

Allyson Finch Wilson

San Diego dispatched outreach workers yesterday to warn homeless residents of flooding dangers from Tropical Storm Hilary.

A spokesperson for the San Diego mayor’s office said the workers talked to around 80 people and offered transportation to area shelters. The spokesperson said around half of the homeless residents workers spoke to said they would take action to immediately secure their belongings and relocate. Others told outreach workers they weren’t interested in leaving but agreed to spread the word about the flood risk and the city’s offer of shelter.?

Homelessness is a critical issue across San Diego County. The number of unhoused residents in the region increased by at least 14% this year, according to the results of a 2023 study from the San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness. The Floodplain Management Plan for San Diego County identifies canyons and riverbeds as areas that flood quickly in severe rain events.

Palm Springs gets record rain

Palm Springs recorded 2.06 inches of rain since midnight, a record for the date, a National Weather Service forecaster said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom mentioned the record at a news conference today about Tropical Storm Hilary's impacts in Los Angeles. The sun was shining when his team visited, he said, and shortly after it left, the city was deluged.

The previous record for this date in Palm Springs was 0.21, or about a fifth of an inch, in 2003, according to weather service meteorologist Elizabeth Adams.

The figure of 2.06 was for the day's rain through about 4:30 p.m., she said, and much more was expected. "For the Coachella Valley, the heaviest should be in the next four or five hours or so," Adams said.

The storm had long been expected to be especially onerous for the Coachella Valley, where Palm Springs is located, as well as for other desert communities and Southern California's inland mountain ranges.

Coachella Valley hospital floods

Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage appeared to be experiencing minor flooding today.

NBC News national climate reporter Chase Cain posted photos on social media that show a few of the hospital's hallways filled with a shallow layer of water.

He said an adjacent pond had overflowed. Workers trying to clean up the water used sandbags to keep more out, Cain reported.

Rancho Mirage is a desert city in the Coachella Valley, which was forecast to get some of the worst rains of the storm.

A spokesperson for the hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

L.A. public schools closed Monday

Los Angeles public schools will be closed Monday, as Tropical Storm Hillary was expected to continue to bring heavy rain and possible catastrophic flooding to Southern California.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho delivered the news this afternoon.

"Tomorrow there will be no schools active across L.A. Unified," he said. "Everything will be shut down."

Though charter schools can make their own decisions about closing, Carvalho said it was likely they would be closed, too.

He asked employees who must work to work from home.

Carvalho said it would be difficult to determine which schools maintained safe access amid flooding and possible damage, and he said it would be dangerous for children and district bus drivers to make their way to campuses in the morning.

"We expect full resumption of all educational services beginning Tuesday morning, as scheduled," he said.

In L.A., a roof collapse and flooding, but no injuries so far

As Hilary continued to inundate Southern California with historic rain, Los Angeles Fire Chief Kristin M. Crowley said no injuries or significant damage have been reported so far.

The fire department fielded a report of a partial roof collapse at an apartment building in the Koreatown neighborhood, and at least one swift water rescue was made in the city's northeast area, she said at a news conference.

The city has received at least 15 reports of flooding, Crowley said. There were two debris-flow incidents in Sherman Oaks, where no structures were affected, she said.

A tree toppled in the Westwood area, she said, and two vehicles were found without passengers in a flood control channel in the Lincoln Heights community.

The Department of Water and Power reported that at least 5,000 utility customers were without power.

Tornado warning issued in San Diego County

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning this afternoon until 4 p.m. PT for Alpine and Descanso in eastern San Diego County.

Radar detected the possibility of a tornado forming in the area, which could affect more than 14,000 people.

The warning also indicated a potential threat of pea-size hail and advised residents to "use extreme caution."

Hilary's core arrives

Hilary's core arrived in Southern California today sometime before 3 p.m., when it crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, a National Weather Service forecaster said.

The storm was becoming scattered as it moved north, so estimating an exact time of arrival was difficult, weather service meteorologist Casey Oswant said.

"The storm is collapsing in on itself, so there is not a super-defined core anymore," she said. "The closest thing is over coastal waters."

NBC News tracking showed Hilary off San Diego despite forecasts that it would take a path to the east of Southern California's populous coastal geography.

The storm arrived much weakened from its major hurricane status yesterday, but its destruction was nonetheless as predicted. The National Hurricane Center said its tropical force winds are spread out 230 miles from Hilary's center.

The center's 2 p.m. PT update said a gust of 70 mph was recorded at Sill Hill, a mountain peak near the town of Julian in northern San Diego County. Hauser Mountain, northwest of the border town of Campo, recorded a 72 mph gust, it said.

Maximum sustained winds were expected to remain at 60 mph, federal forecasters said. The storm was moving north at 23 mph and would most likely accelerate, the hurricane center said.

No significant damage reported from quakes

Residents and local officials are reporting no significant damage from the 5.1 magnitude earthquake that shook Southern California today.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said all 106 of the city's fire stations will conduct a strategic survey.

"There are currently no significant initial reports of structural damage or injuries," Bass wrote.

The Ventura County sheriff also said the county is aware of "no immediate reports of damage at this time."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said that the state is actively monitoring the earthquake's impact in affected regions and that no damage has been reported but that residents should prepare for continued aftershocks.

Water begins to flow in Death Valley

Death Valley National Park posted video of water flowing this morning, warning that the situation is expected to get worse.

"This video was taken near Zabriskie Point earlier this morning. Hurricane Hilary is?forecasted to cause heavy rain for the next several days, so conditions are expected to worsen," the park wrote on Facebook.

Earthquake hits Southern California

In the midst of Tropical Storm Hilary, a magnitude-5.1 earthquake shook Southern California this afternoon, originating several miles southeast of Ojai. It affected several surrounding counties, including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

A Santa Paula police official told NBC there were no immediate reports of or visible damage to buildings, some dating back 100 years.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said there were no significant initial reports of structural damage or injuries in that city, either.

Residents in those areas got an emergency mobile alert from U.S. Geological Survey's early warning system, ShakeAlert: "Earthquake Detected! Drop, Cover, Hold On. Protect Yourself."

Numerous reports of aftershocks were reported in the minutes afterward. A tsunami is not expected, the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center said.

The earthquake quickly became fodder for jokes online, trending on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, under the hashtag #hurriquake.

Hilary delivers historic rain to San Diego

Hilary was delivering historic rain to Southern California, as promised.

With half an inch of rain recorded at San Diego International Airport, known locally as Lindbergh Field, it has been the wettest August day in 46 years, said former San Diego Union-Tribune weather reporter Robert Krier.

The day is surpassed by Aug. 16 and 17, 1977, when the remnants of Hurricane Doreen provided a deluge, he said on X, the platform formally known as Twitter.

Keep in mind, however, that the core of today's storm was just on the verge of crossing into the region, and there's much more to come.

The National Weather Service afternoon rain totals for the storm in the early afternoon include more than 4 inches at Mount Laguna in northern San Diego County, nearly 3 inches at Lake Palmdale in Los Angeles County's high desert and more than an inch in the L.A. city communities of Northridge, Van Nuys and Eagle Rock.

Southwest and Frontier halt flights to Ontario, Calif.

Two airlines have suspended flights to Ontario International Airport in Southern California starting today and into tomorrow.

Southwest Airlines will halt flights from 12 p.m. PT today until 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, while Frontier Airlines has canceled all flights throughout both days.

In a tweet, the airport encouraged flyers to reach out to their airlines for the most updated flight statuses.

San Diego schools closed tomorrow, postponing start of school year

Julianne McShane

San Diego schools will be closed tomorrow, postponing the start of the new school year by a day, the San Diego County Office of Education announced this afternoon.

"Postponing the first day will allow the district to assess any impact to sites and offices and ensure they are prepared to welcome students and families to the new school year," the office said in a statement.

District officials said parents can check its website or follow it on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to stay abreast of future updates, the Education Office said.

The San Diego Unified School District is the second-largest school district in the state, serving more than 121,000 students, according to its website.

Storm's core is nearing Southern California

Hilary is bearing down on the southwestern U.S., with officials at the National Hurricane Center saying the storm’s core is approaching Southern California.

Hilary is about 115 miles south-southeast of San Diego, moving north at around 23 mph. The NHC’s latest outlook predicts that the tropical storm will accelerate over the next day or so, adding that “the center of Hilary will move across southern California in the next few hours.”

Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts, according to the NHC. The storm is expected to weaken but remain a tropical storm as it passes over California.

Gov. Newsom visits farmworker site to hand out protective gear

Julianne McShane

California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited a farmworker site to pass out protective gear and other materials today, his office tweeted.

From 500,000 to 800,000 farmworkers —?a third to a half of all U.S. farmworkers —?live in California, according to the Center for Farmworker Families, a nonprofit organization.

Ocean water quality rain advisory issued for all Los Angeles County beaches

Lindsay Good

Mirna Alsharif and Lindsay Good

An ocean water quality rain advisory was issued for all Los Angeles County beaches, the county Public Health Department said.

"A rain advisory is issued when there is significant rainfall that may cause bacteria levels in ocean waters to increase," it said. "Bacteria levels can increase significantly during and after rainstorms, as contaminants within the runoff enters the ocean."

Elevated bacteria levels in ocean water can cause illness, especially in the elderly and children.

"The Department of Public Health recommends that beach users avoid contact with ocean water for a period of 3 days after significant rainfall, especially near flowing storm drains, creeks and rivers," it said.

Bacteria levels may be elevated for up to three days "depending upon the intensity of the rain and the volume of runoff," it said.

San Diego officials warn 'worst of the storm' is approaching

San Diego officials and the National Weather Service asked residents to stay home as the worst of Tropical Storm Hilary has yet to hit the county.

High winds and heavy rain are expected to approach between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. local time, said Alex Tardy,?a National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist. He noted said it is the first tropical storm to hit the area since 1939.

"Our mountains and deserts could receive as much as 5 to 10 inches of rain," Tardy said today at a news conference. "In some places in the deserts, that's a year's worth. ... The normal rainfall in Southern California and San Diego is nothing in August. So a very unusual event unfolding here."

San Diego County Sheriff Kelly Martinez said that officials have done well to prepare for the unprecedented storm and that first responders stand ready to react to emergencies throughout the county.

"However, we need our communities to also help us out. We need to stay home," Martinez said today. "We need to really heed the warnings that the worst of the storm has yet to come."

San Diego Gas & Electric CEO Caroline Winn said at the news conference that the utility company was prepared to handle outages but that high winds and heavy rain may affect crews' abilities to respond.

She also reminded people to avoid downed power lines. People should assume lines have electricity running through them and call 911.

State of emergency declared in Nevada

Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo declared a state of emergency because of the “imminent impact” of Tropical Storm Hilary across the state.

Hilary is expected to cause heavy rainfall, flash flooding, rockslides and mudslides in Nevada and across the Southwest. Lombardo’s office said the storm could result in “significant damage to state infrastructure and public and private property.”

Earlier this weekend, Lombardo activated 100 Nevada National Guardsmen to southern parts of the state. FEMA is also on the ground to support the state’s response to the storm, the governor’s office said.

Lombardo said Hilary poses a “serious threat” to Nevada, adding that residents should “prepare for flooding,” stay alert and follow guidance from state and local emergency officials.

San Diego mayor declares local emergency

Julianne McShane

San Diego's Mayor Todd Gloria has declared a local emergency, he said this afternoon on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Gloria said the declaration "enables us to seek state and federal disaster assistance and will help us as we continue our response and recovery."

“I ask San Diegans to stay home and stay safe,” he added.

NBC San Diego meteorologist Brooke Martell said the storm could bring widespread rain and heavy winds.

Flood advisory issued for Ventura County

A flood advisory was issued for Ventura County this afternoon.

"With the center of Hilary approaching San Diego this afternoon, rain rates are expected to intensify across LA/Ventura counties this afternoon/evening," the National Weather Service field office in Los Angeles tweeted. "Rain rates of 0.50-1.00 inch per hour will be common, with local rates up to 1.50 inches per hour possible."

"Widespread roadway and small street flooding" and rapid rises in streams and creeks are expected across Ventura County, the weather service said.

The flood advisory will stay in effect until 8:30 p.m. PT.

Evacuation order issued for parts of Arizona's Mohave County

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona has issued an evacuation order for the Temple Bar and Willow Beach areas of Lake Mead National Park.

“Due to flooding risks from Tropical Storm Hilary, National Park Service is requesting that everyone in the area evacuate to higher elevations,” officials said in an update on Facebook.

The sheriff’s office warned that conditions may vary across the more than 13,000 square miles that make up Mohave County. “So keep in mind, the weather in your area may not be the same weather that other areas are experiencing,” officials said. “That’s why we put specific information about?what areas are affected by the evacuation orders.”

Gov. Newsom meets with tribal leaders from Pechanga Band of Indians to offer support

Lindsay Good

Lindsay Good and Mirna Alsharif

Gov. Gavin Newsom met today with tribal leaders from the Pechanga Band of Indians to offer support as Tropical Storm Hilary approaches Southern California.

The Pechanga Band of Indians are a tribe of Luise?o Indians based in Riverside County in Southern California.

"We’re making sure our tribal communities have the resources and support they need during and after this storm," the governor's office tweeted.

Southern California Red Cross responds to Hilary

Lindsay Good

Heavy rain triggers mudslide in California

The California Transportation Department urged people to avoid unnecessary travel after crews cleared a mudslide from the highway in Palmdale, north of Los Angeles.

The Antelope Valley is at especially high risk for slides and flash floods, Caltrans said.

Long Beach parks, trails, sports facilities shut down

Julianne McShane

Workers build a sand berm outside of beachfront homes in Long Beach, Calif., on Aug. 20, 2023.
Workers build a sand berm Sunday in Long Beach.Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Parks, trails, sports facilities and beach parking lots in Long Beach are closed through at least noon tomorrow, Mayor Rex Richardson tweeted.

Summer programming and day care offered at the park will continue to remain available, the mayor's office said.

Several inches of rain are expected in the coastal city, whose health officer, Dr. Anissa Davis, said residents should avoid swimming in its waters for three days after the end of the rainstorm given the increased runoff from storm drain outlets and rivers.

Long Beach is about 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

Cal State L.A. cancels Monday classes

California State University, Los Angeles, announced classes, university events and gatherings would be canceled tomorrow "for the health and safety of our community."

Faculty and staff members will work from home, Leroy Morishita, the university's interim president, said in a statement. The statement also asked students to avoid coming to campus for student services, such as financial aid.

"We recognize that the worst of the storm may have passed on Monday and the conditions on campus may be safe for our community. Our staff have been at work preparing our campus for the impact of the storm," Morishita wrote. "However, our students and employees?may still face hazardous conditions where they live or along?their commute."

Flash flood warning issued for Los Angeles County

A flash flood warning was issued for Los Angeles County today after Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall in Baja California, Mexico.

The warning, which includes Long Beach and Glendale, was issued until 7:45 p.m. PT.

Henderson, Nevada, runs out of sandbags for residents

Lindsay Good

Tropical storm warning issued for Huntington Beach

Julianne McShane

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Huntington Beach, California, the city tweeted.

Officials expect the city will be walloped with heavy rain and high winds of up to 40 mph, with gusts of up to 60 mph. Residents should secure loose outdoor items and avoid driving if possible, the tweet said.

The National Weather Service issues tropical storm warnings when winds between 39 and 73 mph are expected in coastal areas within 36 hours.

Huntington Beach is about 40 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

The city will use a "citywide siren system" in the case of a large-scale emergency, said its tweet, which advised residents to check http://huntingtonbeachca.gov or the city's social media accounts for more information upon hearing the siren.

Los Angeles streets already beginning to flood

Although the storm has yet to make its way to Los Angeles, some people are already beginning to see the rain flooding city streets.

"We just pulled out from the Universal lot and we’ve already seen several streets and intersections flooded," NBC Los Angeles reporter Alex Rozier tweeted Sunday.

Some residents of Azusa, northeast of L.A., are under an evacuation warning

Julianne McShane

Some residents of Azusa, a city at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains about 25 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, have been placed under an evacuation warning, police said.

Officials have urged residents of the Mountain Cove area to leave, including those who live on Highwood Court, Mountain Laurel Way, Moonridge Court and PoppyGlen Court, Azusa police said on Facebook.

The area could experience power outages, high winds and "substantial mud and debris flow," police said.

Police said residents who chose to stay should "remain watchful, ensure you possess a sufficient 72-hour supply of food, medications, and provisions, and promptly report any instances of mud or debris flow in your vicinity."

The evacuation warning will remain in effect from noon today until noon tomorrow.

FEMA prepared to assist as Hilary approaches California

Molly Roecker

Molly Roecker and Mirna Alsharif

A FEMA incident management assistance team has been deployed to California to assist as Hilary approaches the state, the White House said today in a statement.

The agency encouraged residents to prepare ahead of the tropical storm and monitor local news for updates.

"FEMA urges residents in Hilary’s path to complete preparation for flooding impacts associated with the storm," the statement read. "Although Hilary is expected to weaken to a tropical storm before it reaches Southern California, it is forecast to bring dangerous to catastrophic flooding across portions of southern California and southern Nevada."

FEMA also urged residents not to drive or walk through floodwaters and to stay off the roads, avoid downed power lines and follow evacuation orders if they are issued in their areas.

Flash flooding reported in Death Valley National Park

Lindsay Good

Lindsay Good and Denise Chow

Officials at Death Valley National Park reported flash flooding on the ground and said water was already flowing across roads in the park at 8:42 a.m.

“It will get worse, and roads will be impassable,” the park’s website said in an update. “Emergency services probably won’t be able to respond. The park is likely to lose power, communications, and potable water.”

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the area until 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Part of Riverside County placed under evacuation order

Julianne McShane

Part of Riverside County has been placed under an evacuation order, the county Emergency Management Department tweeted.

The order applies to an area under a flood warning just west of Morongo Reservation, including Mias Canyon and East Mias Canyon roads, and part of Banning Canyon Road.

The evacuation order, according to the county, means there is "an immediate threat to life" and constitutes "a lawful order to leave now."

Tropical Storm Hilary makes landfall on Baja California peninsula

Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall Sunday on the Baja California peninsula in northwestern Mexico, with “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” expected in the region, including across parts of the southwestern U.S., according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hilary, which was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm this morning, is forecast to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain, with maximum amounts of up to 10 inches in parts of northern Baja California.

“Flash and urban flooding, locally catastrophic, is expected,” the hurricane center said in its latest update.

Hurricane Center director: 'It's the water, not the wind'

Associated Press

Hurricane Center Director Michael Brennan said that while Hilary had weakened from a Category 4 hurricane, it’s the water, not the wind, that people should watch out for most.

“Rainfall flooding has been the biggest killer in tropical storms and hurricanes in the United States in the past 10 years and you don’t want to become a statistic,” Brennan said in an online briefing from Miami.

Death Valley National Park: 'Conditions are expected to get worse'

Conditions at Death Valley National Park are expected to worsen today, the National Park Service said in a statement.

The park straddles eastern California and southwestern Nevada. Floodwater was already flowing across the park's roads this morning.

"With heavy rain in the forecast, conditions are expected to get worse; roads will become impassable and the park will likely lose power, communications and potable water."

The National Park Service warned that emergency services would most likely not be able to respond to calls at the park.

"Remember, DO NOT put yourself or your loved ones at risk by attempting to drive through flooding roadways; turn around, don’t drown," it said.

1,000 flights canceled in the U.S. as Hilary approaches

Lindsay Good

Mirna Alsharif and Lindsay Good

One thousand flights within, into or out of the U.S. were canceled as Tropical Storm Hilary approached Southern California.

More than 320 of the canceled flights are either arriving at or departing from Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, according to the online tracker?FlightAware.com. The Las Vegas Airport also reported 75 delayed flights.

San Diego International Airport is second on the list, with 249 canceled flights and 34 delayed flights.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport reported 129 canceled flights and more than 70 delayed flights.

Los Angeles International Airport reported 79 canceled flights and 190 delays among arriving and departing flights, according to FlightAware.com.

Forecast: Tropical Storm Hilary could produce 3 inches per hour in some spots

San Diego and Palm Springs prep for rare tropical storm

Nevada's Clark County declares state of emergency

Lindsay Good

Lindsay Good and Denise Chow

A state of emergency has been declared for Clark County, Nevada, as Hilary nears the coast of the Baja California peninsula.

In his proclamation, County Manager Kevin Schiller said the declaration was made in anticipation of “historic rainfall and potential significant flooding events” in the Southwest from Hilary.

The emergency declaration will ensure that resources from the state and the federal government will be available, if needed.

Significant rainfall and flooding are expected throughout Southern California, Nevada and other parts of the Southwest starting Sunday afternoon and into early next week.

L.A. sports games rescheduled ahead of storm

Julianne McShane

Several Los Angeles sports games scheduled for today were moved ahead of the storm hitting.

The L.A. Football Club rescheduled its match today against the Colorado Rapids?to Wednesday, the soccer team announced in a tweet.

The Los Angeles Galaxy moved its game against Real Salt Lake to Oct. 14.

Both teams said tickets for the previously scheduled games would be honored on the rescheduled dates.

The Los Angeles Angels played what was supposed to be their game todaye against the Tampa Rays yesterday, with the Rays winning 18-4.

The Dodgers also moved what was supposed to be their matchup today against the Miami Marlins to yesterday. The Dodgers won 3-1.

L.A. officials warn residents of ‘unprecedented weather event’ ahead of Tropical Storm Hilary

California Office of Emergency Services positioned for storm

NBC News

Storm will bring 'significant impacts, ' 3 to 7 inches of rain outside L.A., fire chief says

Julianne McShane

Tropical Storm Hilary will have "significant impacts" in the Antelope Valley and the area around the San Gabriel Mountains, to the north and northeast of the Los Angeles, Fire Chief Kristin Crowley said at a news conference.

Those areas are likely to get 3 to 7 inches of rain and winds of 40 to 70 mph, Crowley said, adding that flash and coastal flooding, erosion, dangerous rip currents and high seas were also expected.

Roads could become impassable, with large trees, fencing and roadway signs falling, and unanchored mobile homes could also suffer damage, Crowley said.

Less rain is expected in Los Angeles, which is expected to get between 1.5 and 3 inches and wind speeds of 20 to 30 mph, Crowley said.

Residents can watch for alerts at lafd.org/alert.

Disneyland will close early 'for the safety of guests and cast members'

Julianne McShane

Disneyland Resort will close its Anaheim park today "for the safety of guests and cast members," according to an announcement.

Disneyland Park will close two hours early, at 10 p.m. PT. Disneyland California Adventure Park, which is within the resort, will close an hour early, at 9 p.m. PT.

And the Downtown Disney District, an outdoor shopping center, will close two hours early, at 11 p.m. PT.

The theme park is about 27 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

Anaheim reported light rain overnight and into early Sunday. City officials urged locals to "put off all but essential outings for Sunday."

California's mountains will play a part in flood risk

Bill Karins

Kathryn Prociv and Bill Karins

When meteorologist forecast tropical systems along the East Coast, topography is not often considered because the U.S. Atlantic coast is relatively flat.

The West Coast, and specifically where Hilary is headed, is a different story.

The high elevations of Southern California will influence Hilary in many ways, including boosting rainfall through orographic uplift on the eastern slopes and decreasing rainfall due to a rain shadow effect on the western slopes.

The topography of Southern California will dictate who is most at risk of destructive flash flooding. With Hilary approaching from the south, the predominant wind direction will be east until the center crosses into California. The Santa Rosa Mountain range east of San Diego runs north-south for 30 miles with a maximum height of more than 8,698 feet at Toro Peak.

Orographic lift will be maximized over a large area, and rainfall rates are expected to reach 3 inches per hour at the peak of the storm. The heaviest runoff and mud/debris flows will be on the eastern slopes of the Santa Rosa Mountains.

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass: 'This is an unprecedented weather event'

Julianne McShane

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called the tropical storm an "unprecedented weather event" at a news conference this morning and sought to reassure residents that officials were prepared to respond.

Bass yesterday signed a declaration of local emergency, which waives regulations to access additional local, state and federal support.

Officials’ priorities, she added, are to protect residents and their property and to keep city workers safe and city services running.

Bass urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel, ensure their devices are fully charged and prepare emergency kits with anything they may need.

"Our message today is clear: Stay safe, stay home and stay informed," she said.

Hilary to reach Southern California this afternoon

People stand on a pier over the Pacific Ocean as Hurricane Hilary approaches in Imperial Beach, Calif., on Aug. 20, 2023.
People stand on a pier over the Pacific Ocean as Hurricane Hilary approaches in Imperial Beach, Calif., on Sunday.Mario Tama / Getty Images

Tropical Storm Hilary is expected to reach Southern California this afternoon, according to the San Diego branch of the National Weather Service.

Officials urged people across the region to be cautious in the wake of flooding and intense rainfall, particularly in the mountains and deserts.

Hilary is about 220 miles south-southeast of San Diego, according to the National Hurricane Center.

WGA West, SAG-AFTRA cancel picketing tomorrow

Julianne McShane

The Writer's Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, the actors union, canceled their scheduled pickets tomorrow because of the coming storm.

The Hollywood writers have been on strike since May, and the actors joined them last month. Both unions seek higher pay for members, as well as structural changes to account for the impacts of streaming and new technologies on the industry.

WGA West and the actors union plan to resume picketing Tuesday, they said.

Hilary downgraded to tropical storm

Erin McGarry

Mirna Alsharif and Erin McGarry

Hilary has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

The Mexican government discontinued the hurricane watch and downgraded the hurricane warning to a tropical storm warning for the Baja California peninsula, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm is very near the west coast of Baja California and about 220 miles south-southeast of San Diego. It's likely to bring "catastrophic and life-threatening flooding" to Baja and parts of the southwestern U.S.

Hilary's maximum sustained winds are 70 mph.

Videos show floodwaters surging in Santa Rosalia, Mexico

NBC News

Hilary brings tornado risk

The Storm Prediction Center upgraded the tornado risk to 5% for parts of Southern California.

A tornado risk is rare for this part of the country. It is the first 5% tornado risk NBC News could find going back to at least 2002.

A map shows tornado probability in parts of California, Nevada and Arizona.
A map shows tornado probability in parts of California, Nevada and Arizona.NOAA

Heavy rain and lightning strikes overnight for parts of Central Coast

NBC News

Drowning death in Santa Rosalia, Mexico

Associated Press

A person drowned yesterday in the Mexican town of Santa Rosalia, on the peninsula’s eastern coast, when a vehicle was swept away in an overflowing stream. Rescue workers managed to save four other people, said Edith Aguilar Villavicencio, the mayor of Mulege township.

It was not immediately clear whether officials considered the death to be related to the hurricane. Video posted by local officials showed torrents of water coursing through the town’s streets.

California State Parks temporarily closing all state beaches in Orange and San Diego counties

NBC News

People make sandbags in Seal Beach, Calif., as Hurricane Hilary approaches on Aug. 19, 2023.
People make sandbags in Seal Beach on Saturday.Mario Tama / Getty Images

All state beaches in Orange and San Diego counties will be closed today and tomorrow, according to California State Parks.

Inland state parks in the path of the storm, such as Cuyamaca State Park, Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, will also be closed because of flooding concerns. In addition, all incoming camping reservations for affected areas will be canceled today to Tuesday.

Park staff members are connecting with current campers, advising them of the dangers from the hurricane. More park units may be closed with little notice. The department reports it will continue to use a monitor and adapt strategy to protect the safety of its employees and the public. For the latest park closures, please visit?parks.ca.gov/Incidents.

Evacuation order for San Bernardino mountains

Leila Sackur

The San Bernardino County sheriff has issued an evacuation order for communities in the San Bernardino hills.

Residents of Oak Glen, Forest Falls, Mountain Home Village, Angelus Oaks and NE Yucaipa have been told to leave their homes before the storm system lands.

Catastrophic floods could hit SoCal and Nevada, forecasters warn

Leila Sackur

Up to 10 inches of rain could lead to “dangerous to catastrophic" floods in parts of Southern California and Nevada, the National Weather Service said in an advisory this morning.

About 3 to 6 inches of rainfall was predicted elsewhere, it said.

'Hurricane Hunters' prepare to fly into the eye of storm

Leila Sackur

The Hurricane Hunters, an aircrew team in the 403rd Wing of the Air Force Reserve that flies into tropical cyclones to gather weather data for forecasters and scientists, said they were preparing for takeoff early today.

The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron — the Hurricane Hunters' official name — is operating out of Santa Maria Public Airport in California, the team said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The team first flew out into the storm Thursday to gather data, according to the 403rd Wing website.

L.A. mayor activates Emergency Operations Center

Leila Sackur

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass warned residents to stay at home as the city prepares to activate its Emergency Operations Center today.

Bass tweeted that it would be activated at Level 2, a partial activation of the center. The center manages the city's planning, coordination, response and recovery efforts for extreme weather events and natural disasters.

Heavy rain and strong winds are expected across Los Angeles County today as California prepares to weather the first tropical storm to make landfall in the state in 84 years.

One dead, four rescued in Baja California peninsula

Associated Press

Baja California State, Mexico, during the passage of Hurricane Hilary on Aug. 19, 2023.
Baja California, Mexico, during the passage of Hurricane Hilary on Saturday.Alfredo Estrella / AFP - Getty Images

A person drowned yesterday in the Mexican town of Santa Rosalia, on the Baja California peninsula's eastern coast, when a vehicle was swept away in an overflowing stream.

Rescue workers managed to save four other people, said Edith Aguilar Villavicencio, the mayor of Mulegé township.

It was not immediately clear whether officials considered the death to be related to Hilary. Video posted by local officials showed torrents of water coursing through the town’s streets.

Hilary to bring 'life-threatening' flooding to Southwest

Leila Sackur

Tens of millions will be placed under a tropical storm warning today as Hilary moves toward Southern California, bringing heavy rainfall and potentially “life threatening” flash flooding, the National Weather Service said in an advisory.

Strong winds could down trees and power lines, and normally dry arroyos could experience mudslides and debris flows, the advisory said.

Stormy conditions at sea will produce large swells with dangerous surf and strong rip currents, the NWS said.

California state beaches and parks closed ahead of storm

California State Parks said today it was shutting down state beaches from the U.S.-Mexico border to Bolsa Chica near the southern boundary of Los Angeles County as a precaution.

Beach closures were scheduled for Sunday and Monday, state parks said in a statement.

Additionally,?state parks expected to be in the path of Hilary, including Cuyamaca State Park, Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, were also scheduled to close Sunday and Monday, the department said.

Those inland locations, near what was forecast to be the hardest hit communities — desert areas and inland mountain ranges — were the subject of flooding concerns, state parks said.

Flash flood risk from Tropical Storm Hilary

San Diego County declares state of emergency

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County officials tonight proclaimed a state of emergency ahead of the anticipated impacts of Hilary.

The proclamation will allow county government to obtain the necessary resources to respond to emergencies and damage associated with the storm.

It followed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s state of emergency declaration.

Photo: People fill up sandbags in Long Beach

Long Beach lifeguards fill up sandbags for residents ahead of Hurricane Hilary, in Long Beach, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.
Long Beach lifeguards fill up sandbags for residents on Saturday.Damian Dovarganes / AP
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