‘Unprecedented’ Tropical Storm Brings Dangerous Conditions to Western US

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Tropical Storm Hilary remains a significant threat to Southern California as it moves inland. Flash flooding and high winds are a major concern.

The National Weather Service (NWS) experts say the storm is unprecedented. The last time a tropical storm made landfall in Southern California was 84 years ago before there was a system for naming storms.

“We are expecting a rare and dangerous rainfall event with significant flash flooding, river flooding, mudslides, and debris flow,” said NWS forecaster Courtney Carpenter.

So far, that’s exactly what it’s been. From California to Nevada, millions of Americans are under flood warnings.  

slider img 2The heavy rain and desert climate of the region has made for a bad combination. 

“We are not used to this level of precipitation, generally – certainly not in the middle of summer, in August. We’re not built for this kind of rainfall,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria in an interview with CNN. 

Places like Palm Springs, California received more than half its annual rainfall on Sunday alone. Schools and businesses across the Golden State remained closed Monday.

“Stay safe, stay informed, and stay home,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.

In the middle of the storm, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck just about 80 miles from Los Angeles, heightening tensions for already nervous residents there. 

“This is the first time we’ve had a magnitude 5 since 1932 in exactly this location,” said Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones. 

Experts say the storm and quake were totally unrelated. 

Meanwhile, both California and Nevada are now under a State of Emergency and thousands are without power. 

San Diego Gas and Electric warned customers that turning the lights back on could take longer than normal.

“You know, all the flooding can cause us to not be able to get in and have access to some of these areas and some of these wind conditions, we may not be able to get our line people up in our bucket trucks,” said CEO Caroline Winn.

President Biden says he’s deployed federal resources to assist California and Nevada. 

As the remnants of Hilary move inland, experts warn the weakened storm system is still dangerous.

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Tropical Storm Hilary Wreaks Havoc on California

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