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Hilary downgraded to tropical storm, heavy rainfall & flooding

The tropical storm expected to produce heavy rainfall Sunday into Monday, bringing the likelihood of destructive flash flooding and mudslides

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Sunday radar image of Tropical Storm Hilary as it crosses into Southern California. (NOAA)

OXNARD, Calif. – The National Weather Service Los Angeles Area announced that Hurricane Hilary has officially been downgraded to a tropical storm with maximum winds of 70 mph and gusts up to 85 mph expected.

As of 8 a.m. Pacific time, Hilary was located about 220 miles (350 kilometers) south-southeast of San Diego, the National Hurricane Center reported. Hilary had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) and was moving northwest at 25 mph (41 kph).

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass urged residents to stay safe, stay home and stay informed so that crews can respond to emergencies as quickly and safely as possible.

“Our primary focus is to protect the life and property of Angelenos, and second, we need to keep our city workers safe,” Bass said at Sunday morning’s press conference. “Third, we must ensure that city services are operating as best as possible given the circumstances.”

Tropical Storm Hilary is expected to produce heavy rainfall in Southern California Sunday into Monday, bringing the likelihood of destructive flash flooding and mudslides. Rain totals will range from 2 to 10 inches. Strong wind gusts are also expected.

KTLA reported rain has begun falling across the entire region. Watch live Hilary radar

LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho will announce whether schools in the district will be open on Monday later in the day on Sunday, Mayor Bass said.

Fire department officials said that LAFD units are “proactively staffed” to better help with disaster response efforts.

“We have proactively staffed and augmented additional resources throughout the city that have been strategically pre-deployed within the city to ensure your safety…and reducing risk,” said LAFD Chief Kristin Crowley.

The California Highway Patrol is urging residents to stay off the roads as the storm moves through the region. Several car accidents due to poor road conditions caused by Hurricane Hilary have been reported the CHP noted.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath in an emailed notice noted:

I hope each of you is staying safe and taking care. This morning, Los Angeles County proclaimed a state of emergency as Hurricane Hilary makes landfall in Los Angeles as a tropical storm. As you’re experiencing, wind and rain have arrived and will increase throughout the day. This is why it’s imperative that we all stay safe by staying indoors. Please avoid all non-essential travel.

Conditions related to a tropical storm can change quickly and with little warning. Flash flooding can occur within minutes. This is why avoiding travel is the best way to stay safe.

Los Angeles County’s emergency operations center is coordinating our regional response, and our office is fully engaged and here to support our communities through this incident. For the latest updates, visit the incident response page: www.lacounty.gov/emergency

Conditions related to a tropical storm can change quickly and with little warning. Flash flooding can occur within minutes. This is why avoiding travel is the best way to stay safe.

Los Angeles County’s emergency operations center is coordinating our regional response, and our office is fully engaged and here to support our communities through this incident. For the latest updates, visit the incident response page: www.lacounty.gov/emergency

Tips:

  • Stay home and ensure any outdoor furniture or other items are secure before the rain intensifies. 
  • Make sure your emergency kit is stocked and accessible.
  • If you must drive, drive slowly and turn around if you encounter water. Please follow the advice of emergency personnel. 

Helpful contacts:

  • Downed powerline: call 9-1-1 and leave the area.
  • Report a power outage: call SCE at 1-800-611-1911.
  • Need shelter: call 2-1-1.
  • Downed tree or water in the roadway: call LA Public Works 800-676-HELP (4357). In the City of LA, call 3-1-1.

Resources to stay informed:

L.A. County Emergency Response Page – stay up to date regarding evacuations, road closures, or media releases during active storms. 

Ready Los Angeles Twitter – monitor social media for regular updates. 

Register for Emergency Alerts – Alert LA County is an opt-in mass notification program that allows individuals to receive emergency alerts by text, email and/or phone call. Please also register for your local city’s emergency alerts. 

Emergency shelter – find information on the County’s shelter program or call 2-1-1 for assistance. 

Locate your closest fire department – locate your nearest station to obtain free sandbags if needed. 

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Southern California

Triple A: Local gas prices continue skyrocketing

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.03, which is 24 cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A/Los Angeles Blade graphic

LOS ANGELES – Southern California gas prices continued upward in the last week, bringing average prices to well over $6 in all areas except Bakersfield, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.03, which is 24 cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.84, which is three cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $6.29 per gallon, which is 23 cents higher than last week, 92 cents higher than last month, and 18 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $6.21, which is 22 cents higher than last week, 84 cents higher than last month, and 17 cents higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $6.15, which is 23 cents higher than last week, 87 cents higher than last month, and 10 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $6.12, which is 23 cents higher than last week, 86 cents higher than last month and 17 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.87 average price is 15 cents higher than last week, 69 cents higher than last month, and three cents higher than a year ago today.

This fall’s price spike is similar to what California drivers experienced a year ago, when refineries did not produce enough of the ‘summer blend’ of gasoline to sell through the end of October as required by state air quality regulations.

“We are continuing to see price increases due to higher oil prices and refinery maintenance that has reduced gasoline production, along with the continuing overall reduced capacity in California to produce gasoline as refineries switch to green fuel production”, said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Last September, Gov. Newsom and the California Air Quality Resources Board suspended regulations to allow early sale of cheaper ‘winter blend’ gasoline, which brought pump prices down rapidly, but it is unknown whether they will take that action again this year.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Sept. 28, averages are:

092823
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Southern California

Triple A: SoCal gas prices skyrocket to over $6 in many areas

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.79, which is 28 cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A/Los Angeles Blade graphic

LOS ANGELES – Southern California gas prices rose at the third-fastest rate ever recorded for a one-week jump, but backed down slightly today after several days of wholesale price drops, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.79, which is 28 cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.87, which is one cent higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $6.06 per gallon, which is 44 cents higher than last week, 71 cents higher than last month, and 51 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.99, which is 39 cents higher than last week, 66 cents higher than last month, and 51 cents higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.92, which is 39 cents higher than last week, 65 cents higher than last month, and 43 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.89, which is 39 cents higher than last week, 65 cents higher than last month and 49 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.72 average price is 34 cents higher than last week, 57 cents higher than last month, and 29 cents higher than a year ago today.

“Refinery production and imports have improved the Southern California fuel supply situation, causing wholesale prices to drop for the last few days,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “According to Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), the PBF Energy refinery in Torrance and the Wilmington portion of the Phillips 66 refinery have both started multi-week planned maintenance projects this week. However, OPIS analysts say large shipments of imported gasoline are expected to arrive on the West Coast in the coming days, which will likely offset the upward pressure on pump prices caused by the refinery maintenance.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Sept. 21, averages are:

092123
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Southern California

Triple A: Local gas prices shoot up at fastest rate this year

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.51, which is 15 cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A Auto Club/Los Angeles Blade graphic

LOS ANGELES – Southern California unleaded gas prices skyrocketed in the last week at their fastest pace of the year, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.51, which is 15 cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.86, which is six cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.62 per gallon, which is 18 cents higher than last week, 38 cents higher than last month, and 20 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.60, which is 17 cents higher than last week, 39 cents higher than last month, and 22 cents higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.53, which is 14 cents higher than last week, 38 cents higher than last month, and nine cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.50, which is 17 cents higher than last week, 39 cents higher than last month and 21 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.38 average price is 14 cents higher than last week, 30 cents higher than last month, and the same as a year ago today.

“Our pump prices have been skyrocketing as a result of regional refinery outages, as well as from increasing crude oil prices following deadly flooding in Libya, which will temporarily disrupt oil exports from that OPEC nation,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “These regional and global factors are putting upward pressure on both regular unleaded and diesel prices all across Southern California.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Sept. 14, averages are:

091423
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Southern California

Triple A: SoCal had highest gas prices ever for Labor Day weekend

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.36, which is six cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A Auto club/Los Angeles Blade graphic

LOS ANGELES – Gas prices are continuing to rise rapidly in Southern California past the Labor Day holiday, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.36, which is six cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.80, which is three cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.44 per gallon, which is seven cents higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month, and 13 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.43, which is six cents higher than last week, 29 cents higher than last month, and 15 cents higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.39, which is nine cents higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month, and one cent lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.33, which is six cents higher than last week, 29 cents higher than last month and 14 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.24 average price is six cents higher than last week, 23 cents higher than last month, and eight cents lower than a year ago today.

“Oil Price Information Service reports that there have been a couple of unplanned refinery flaring incidents this week in Southern California, indicating mechanical problems that may be affecting gasoline production,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Oil prices have also spiked in the past week to their highest levels since November of last year, primarily because of continued OPEC production cuts affecting the market.”

During these times of higher prices, the Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas during fall road trips:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Sept. 7, averages are:

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Southern California

Triple A: SoCal drivers will be paying highest prices for Labor Day

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.30, which is four cents higher than a week ago

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Screenshot/YouTube

LOS ANGELES – Pump prices in most Southern California areas are now a dime or more higher than at this time last year and the highest ever for the Labor Day weekend as many people hit the road for their final summer getaways, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. 

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.30, which is four cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.83, which is one cent lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.37 per gallon, which is one cent higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month, and 11 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.37, which is two cents higher than last week, 31 cents higher than last month, and 14 cents higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.30, which is three cents higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month, and ten cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.27, which is two cents higher than last week, 31 cents higher than last month and 12 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.18 average price is two cents higher than last week, 25 cents higher than last month, and 15 cents lower than a year ago today.

“Gas prices are now backing off slightly in Southern California, but Los Angeles wholesale gas prices are still at their highest levels since November 2022 and will have to drop significantly to provide enough room for pump prices to drop below $5 a gallon,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “However, the Auto Club still expects an increase in Labor Day travel over last year because of a four percent increase in overall AAA Travel bookings and a 44 percent increase in international bookings compared to last year’s holiday weekend.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Aug. 31, averages are:

083123
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Southern California

Triple A: Price increases slow as Labor Day Weekend approaches

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.26, which is eight cents higher than a week ago

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Triple A/Los Angeles Blade graphic

LOS ANGELES – Southern California gas prices surpassed their levels from a year ago in many areas, including Los Angeles, San Diego and Riverside but have remained stable for three days in a row, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.26, which is eight cents higher than a week ago. The average national price is $3.84, which is four cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.36 per gallon, which is nine cents higher than last week, 38 cents higher than last month, and four cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.35, which is 11 cents higher than last week, 40 cents higher than last month, and seven cents higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.27, which is eight cents higher than last week, 35 cents higher than last month, and 20 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.16, which is 11 cents higher than last week, 40 cents higher than last month and five cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.16 average price is seven cents higher than last week, 30 cents higher than last month, and 24 cents lower than a year ago today.

“High wholesale prices continue to put upward pressure on pump prices. Fortunately, California refineries didn’t report shutdowns because of last weekend’s storm,” explained Doug Shupe, spokesperson for the Auto Club. “Drivers planning road trips for the upcoming Labor Day weekend can expect gas prices to be similar to last year.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Aug. 24, averages are:

CA GAS CHART 08_24-23
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Southern California

In its wake tropical storm Hilary closes I-10 freeway and lots of mud

KABC 7 and KTLA 5 have been live updating as residents dig out and debris removal commences. CDC issues warning about floodwaters

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RV with two people trapped in it on a closed section of the I-10 freeway. (Screenshot/YouTube KABC 7)

LOS ANGELES – Recovery efforts are now underway across Southern California as the remnants of Tropical Storm Hilary move through Nevada Monday.

From mud and debris flows to cars stuck in flooded roads, the entire region is getting better look at the damage left behind by the first tropical storm to hit the area in 84 years.

KABC 7 and KTLA 5 have been live updating as residents dig out and debris removal commences.

A warning was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday:

Stay out of floodwater. Floodwater can contain chemicals, sewage, bacteria, debris, and fallen power lines that put you at risk of disease and injury. Learn more about staying safe during a #floodhttps://bit.ly/3txtVEp #Hilary

The National Weather Service reported that rainfall totals have reached 13.5 inches in San Bernardino County, and in neighboring Riverside County, the City of Palm Springs saw more than 3 inches, breaking a seasonal record.

Los Angeles County recorded over 7 inches of rain. Downtown L.A. recorded 2.48 inches of rainfall on Sunday, making it the wettest August day ever in that area, according to the National Weather Service.

Flooding in Ventura County from Tropical Storm Hilary on Aug. 20, 2023. (VCFD)

San Diego saw 1.82 inches of rain, making Sunday the wettest August day on record in the city, according to KABC 7 News. Plus, Escondido and Cuyamaca saw 2.66 inches and 4.11 inches, respectively, marking the wettest month of August for those regions.

For complete live coverage:

Coachella Valley inundated with mud, drivers trapped in flash flood:

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Southern California

Newsom meets with local leaders as Tropical Storm Hilary arrives

The Biden administration is urging Californians to take Tropical Storm Hilary seriously ahead of its expected Sunday evening arrival

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The Governor visited the San Bernardino County Emergency Operations Center for an update on the latest storm situation on Sunday, August 20. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – Governor Gavin Newsom met with communities across Southern California, including the Inland Empire and Desert communities, today as Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall, bringing damaging rain and winds that are likely to last through Monday.

While meeting with local leaders, Governor Newsom expanded the state of emergency to include Mono County, and issued additional emergency orders to give care facilities greater flexibility to ensure that care of residents and patients can continue safely during the storm.

Find the full text of today’s proclamation here.

Among his stops today, Governor Newsom met with Chairman Macarro and other tribal leaders of the Pechanga Band of Indians to discuss storm impacts. He also visited a call center in the Inland Empire run by the TODEC Legal Center that connects communities with the support they need, as well as a nonprofit organization distributing protective gear and resources to farmworkers.

Additionally, the Governor met with Mayor Garner, local officials and emergency personnel in Palm Springs, met with Chairman Milanovich and other tribal leaders from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and visited the San Bernardino County Emergency Operations Center for an update on the latest forecasts.

While surveying ongoing preparations throughout Southern California, Governor Newsom spoke with President Biden.

Governor Newsom also joined leaders in Los Angeles County, including Mayor Bass, LA County Board of Supervisors Chair Hahn, first responders, and emergency personnel responding to the ongoing impact of Tropical Storm Hilary and the 5.0+ earthquake that struck Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday, at a California National Guard facility in San Diego, Governor Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for most of southern California ahead of the expected impacts of Tropical Storm Hilary – making additional preparation, response, and recovery efforts available to local, tribal, and state emergency personnel and officials.

Governor Gavin Newsom being briefed on storm preparedness measures.
(Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

HOW CALIFORNIA IS PREPARING & RESPONDING:

State Operations Center Activated: At the direction of Governor Gavin Newsom, the State Operations Center at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is currently activated 24/7 and the state is closely monitoring impacts from rain, wind, flash flooding, and potential power outages, as well as coordinating across state agencies to provide resources in preparation for other potential impacts – including tornadoes, earthquakes and earthquake aftershocks. Additionally, the state has activated its Medical and Health Coordination Center to coordinate and monitor response efforts and has issued an alert to all health facilities in the state.

Prepositioned and On-The-Ground Resources: The state continues to coordinate the prepositioning of emergency resources across Southern California and the Central Valley in anticipation of ongoing impacts from Tropical Storm Hilary:

  • The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) has assets on standby, including California Medical Assistance Teams, to augment local capacity, aid in evacuations, and support medical needs in communities impacted by flooding. The EMSA is ready to assist with Ambulance Strike Teams as necessary to support local communities.
  • The Flood Operations Center is activated and is coordinating the distribution of over 300,000 sandbags for county flood fighting efforts: 100,000 in San Diego County, 84,000 in Riverside County, 50,000 in San Bernardino County, 40,000 in Imperial County, and 20,000 in Orange County.
  • The California National Guard has strategically prepositioned more than 350 soldiers and two dozen high water vehicles.
  • CAL FIRE has prepositioned nine swift water rescue teams and urban search and rescue teams along with 290 strategically prepositioned engines.
  • Cal OES, through the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System, has deployed more than 730 firefighters and support staff in Riverside, San Diego, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Imperial, Inyo, and Mono Counties.
    • Resources on the ground include: 43 fire engines15 swift water teams11 hand crews7 pieces of heavy equipment (dozers/loader/excavator/road grader), 5 helicopters1 water tender2 urban search and rescue companies3 regional urban search and rescue task forces.
  • The CHP has activated a Tactical Alert, which allows CHP to maximize the number of deployed personnel and resources in addition to prepositioned equipment, activated emergency operations centers, and placed Special Response Teams on alert.

Maintaining Roadway Safety: Approximately 2,000 Caltrans maintenance personnel in the region are on 12 hour shifts, 24 hours a day. They are installing pumps in flood-prone areas, positioning equipment on standby, actively responding to ongoing impacts, and monitoring burn scars for potential mudslides, especially in northern Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Caltrans Southern California districts are opening emergency operations centers and are coordinating with city and county emergency operations centers as needed. 

Protecting Vulnerable Communities: California is actively monitoring potential impacts to vulnerable communities, including unhoused individuals. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has reached out to local partners and licensed facilities caring for some of the most vulnerable — including individuals with disabilities, older individuals, and unsheltered individuals — to help ensure that people have access to services should they need them. Additionally, the state is working with local officials to ensure mobile home communities are taking appropriate steps to prepare.

Coordinating With Private Sector: California continues to coordinate with major retailers, including Target, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, CVS Health, and others, as well as grocers to ensure essential supplies are available and emergency contingency plans are activated. Additionally, the state is coordinating with major fuel suppliers, utility providers, and telecommunications companies to determine any needs of support to maintain essential services.

Free Uber Rides to Shelters: CDSS announced a public-private partnership with Uber. Uber has agreed to provide emergency transportation services from locations within the impacted area to open shelter locations (up to $40). To redeem the discount, riders must apply the promo code Hilary23” in the Wallet section of their Uber app prior to requesting the ride, which is valid for UberX or UberXL. Please note that this service is only available for transportation to open shelter locations. For additional information, please visit the CDSS homepage, www.cdss.ca.gov

Closing State Parks and Beaches: The state continues monitoring the storm’s impacts on the State Park System and making real-time decisions on closures as needed. Currently, California has 18 partial closures and 23 full closures and has 600 staff on the ground to respond. All state beaches in San Diego and Orange Counties are temporarily closed Sunday and Monday. Additionally, State Parks has proactively canceled reservations at campgrounds in high-risk areas. The public is advised to limit outdoor recreation and stay out of the ocean during the storm.

In an emailed statement the White House noted that this afternoon, President Biden spoke to California Governor Gavin Newsom about the emergency preparedness measures in place and the initial response to Tropical Storm Hilary.

Throughout the weekend, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, FEMA Deputy Assistant Administrator Colt Hagmaier, Marcus Coleman, Director of DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and Keith Turi, FEMA Office of Response and Recovery Deputy Assistant Administrator, spoke to national broadcast and local TV stations across California, Nevada and Arizona.

Administration officials outlined steps the Administration has taken to prepare and reiterated the importance of listening to local and state officials. 

The Biden administration is urging Californians to take Tropical Storm Hilary seriously ahead of its expected Sunday evening arrival. It will be the first tropical storm to hit southern California since 1939, according to the National Weather Service.
 
“People really need to take this storm in California serious,” Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanna Criswell said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “The total rain amounts aren’t like what we see in some of our Atlantic storms and Gulf storms, but it’s going to really be potentially devastating for them in these desert areas.”

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Southern California

Newsom proclaims state of emergency as hurricane approaches

California continues to mobilize ahead of Hurricane Hilary’s projected landfall in SoCal. People are urged to take all necessary precautions

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The Governor signed the emergency proclamation in San Diego while visiting with California National Guard troops. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for much of Southern California to support Hurricane Hilary response and recovery efforts as the state continues mobilizing and coordinating resources ahead of the storm’s forecasted impacts starting today. The text of today’s emergency proclamation can be found here.

Hurricane Hilary is currently a Category 2 storm that the National Hurricane Center says is expected to bring “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” to Baja California and the Southwestern U.S., including Southern California. Much of the impacts of the storm, including heavy rainfall and high winds, are expected to begin today and last through Monday. 

At the Governor’s direction, there are currently more than 7,500 boots on the ground deployed to help local communities protect Californians from the impacts of Hurricane Hilary. 

The Governor signed the emergency proclamation in San Diego while visiting with California National Guard troops. Also today, the Governor met with first responders and local officials, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. He also was in touch with federal officials, including the White House.

What Governor Newsom said: “California has thousands of people on the ground working hand-in-hand with federal and local personnel to support communities in Hurricane Hilary’s path with resources, equipment and expertise. We’re mobilizing all of government as we prepare and respond to this unprecedented storm.” 

PREPARE NOW: Here are the top 5 things Californians can do to stay safer during the storm. 

HOW CALIFORNIA IS PREPARING:

State Operations Center Activated: At the direction of Governor Gavin Newsom, the State Operations Center at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is currently activated and the state is closely monitoring impacts from rain, wind, flash flooding and potential power outages, as well as coordinating across state agencies to provide resources in preparation for other potential impacts. Additionally, the state has activated its Medical and Health Coordination Center to coordinate and monitor response efforts and has issued an alert to all health facilities in the state.  

Prepositioned Resources: The state continues to coordinate the prepositioning of emergency resources across Southern California and the Central Valley in anticipation of Hurricane Hilary:

  • The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) has assets on standby, including California Medical Assistance Teams (CAL-MAT), to augment local capacity, aid in evacuations, and support medical needs in communities impacted by flooding. The EMSA is ready to assist with Ambulance Strike Teams as necessary to support local communities. 
  • The Flood Operations Center is activated and has prepositioned flood fight materials should they be needed. 
  • The California National Guard has strategically prepositioned more than 350 soldiers and two dozen high water vehicles.
  • CAL FIRE has prepositioned nine swift water rescue teams and urban search and rescue teams along with 290 strategically prepositioned engines.
  • Cal OES, through the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System, has deployed a total of over 700 local government firefighters and support staff, as well as 15 swift water rescue teams, two urban search and rescue companies and three regional urban search and rescue task forces.

Maintaining Roadway Safety: Approximately 2,000 Caltrans maintenance personnel in the region are on 12 hour shifts, 24 hours a day. They are installing pumps in flood-prone areas, such as Pacific Coast Highway/State Route 1 in Orange County, and monitoring burn scars for potential mudslides, especially in northern Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Caltrans Southern California districts are opening emergency operations centers and are coordinating with city and county emergency operations centers as needed. Additionally, the California Highway Patrol has staffed more than 3,900 officers and other personnel in the region and has prepositioned equipment, activated limited emergency operations centers and has Special Response Teams on alert.

Protecting Vulnerable Communities: California is actively monitoring potential impacts to vulnerable communities, including unhoused individuals. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has reached out to local partners and licensed settings caring for some of the most vulnerable — including individuals with disabilities, older individuals, and unsheltered individuals — to help ensure that people have access to services should they need them. Additionally, the state is working with local officials to ensure mobile home communities are taking appropriate steps to prepare. 

Coordinating With Private Sector: California continues to coordinate with major retailers, including Target, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, CVS Health and others, as well as grocers to ensure essential supplies are available and emergency contingency plans are activated. Additionally, the state is coordinating with major fuel suppliers, utility providers and telecommunications companies to determine any needs of support to maintain essential services. 

Closing State Parks and Beaches: The state is actively monitoring the storm’s impacts on state parks and making real-time decisions on closures as needed. Currently, California has closed 10 parks and has 600 staff on the ground to respond. The state is closing Silver Strand State Beach and Borderfields State Beach today and Orange Coast District and San Diego District beaches on Sunday and Monday, as well as increasing lifeguard services. The public is advised to stay out of the ocean during the storm. Additionally, state parks have proactively canceled reservations at campgrounds in high-risk areas.  

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Southern California

Hurricane Hilary forecast as tropical storm as it hits SoCal Sunday

As the powerful storm moves North it has been losing strength and will likely hit as a weak Category One Hurricane or a tropical storm

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Hurricane Hilary satellite overview 7:40 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2023. (Photo of radar image via NOAA)

LOS ANGELES – The National Weather Service announced Saturday morning the most likely impact from Tropical Storm Hilary will be rain. The forecast keeps high rain chances between Sunday and Monday night. Rain amounts are less certain due to the exact track and timing.

As the powerful storm moves North off the coast of Baja California, it has been losing strength and will likely hit as a weak Category One Hurricane or a tropical storm the Weather Service said.

Hilary is expected to make landfall in Southern California on Sunday with rainfall amounts ranging from 2 to 10 inches.  Emergency preparedness continues as communities from the Los Angeles region south to San Diego brace for what officials have said could be an unprecedented amount of damage caused by the storm.

Advance of Hilary impacting the San Diego region, the Commander, Navy Region Southwest announced early Saturday that the Pacific Fleet Surface Navy would be sending a bulk of the fleet to sea to avoid storm destruction.

The Los Angeles Emergency Management Department announced:

  • Angelenos should register for NotifyLA for local alerts. The Los Angeles City Emergency Management Department will post updates here. Follow @ReadyLA on social media channels for updates.
  • Hurricane safety tips and resources provided by the National Weather Service are available here.
  • Los Angeles Department of Transportation Transit Operations will make any announcements involving significant road closures or transportation impacts here.

How to request support

  • For impacts like roadway flooding, tree limbs blocking roads, or mudslides, Angelenos should request service through LACity.gov/myla311 or by calling 311. You also download the MyLA311 app. 
  • In the event of power outages or water main breaks, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers can call 1-800-DIAL-DWP or click here.

KTLA 5 is live-streaming Hurricane Hilary radar through the weekend and until the storm passes. Watch live on desktop or mobile: https://ktla.com/weather/hurricane-hilary-live-satellite-and-radar/

The state is mobilizing to protect people from the storm and reminding everyone in the storm’s path to take steps now to prepare.

“We should never underestimate the power of Mother Nature. California is coordinating with federal and local governments to support communities as they prepare for this unprecedented storm. Heed warnings from local authorities, be ready and stay informed,” Governor Newsom said Friday evening. 

At the direction of Governor Gavin Newsom, the State Operations Center at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is currently activated and the state is closely monitoring incoming impacts from rain, wind, and potential flash flooding and power outages.

Here are the top 5 things you can do to stay safer during the storm: 

  1. Stay connected. Californians are reminded to dial 3-1-1 to get help or ask questions. If you have a critical emergency, call 911. Stay informed by signing up for emergency alerts including warnings and evacuation notices. Go to CalAlerts.org to sign up to receive alerts from your county officials. Check in with loved ones and neighbors.
  2. Prepare for high winds and ocean surges.
    Before a high wind event occurs: remove any dead trees or overhanging branches near structures, remove loose roofing material, bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies, secure outdoor objects that could blow away, shutter windows securely and brace outside doors. 

    During a high wind event: take cover next to a building or under shelter, stay away from windows, stay clear of roadways and train tracks, avoid elevated areas such as roofs, watch for flying debris.  

    Avoid the ocean: The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory and is urging beachgoers to stay out of the ocean as Hurricane Hilary will create strong breaking waves, shore breaks and strong longshore and rip currents, making the ocean extremely dangerous.
  3. Travel safely. Avoid non-essential travel during the peak of the storm expected Sunday and Monday. If you must drive, download the QuickMap app or visit QuickMap (ca.gov)  to learn up-to-the-minute information on road conditions, traffic, closures, and more. Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  4. Be ready in case of power outagesTake inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Keep your devices charged. Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs if the power goes out such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member. Also, plan accordingly for the potential of water outages. 
  5. Listen to local authorities. Always follow the guidance of your local authorities, including evacuation orders, road closures and other official notices.
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