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Tropical Storm Hilary Brings Lethal Rain To Mexico's Baja Coast


Tropical storm Hilary brings lethal rain to Mexico's Baja coast as it continued on its northward path. While it had weakened from hurricane status, it still carried a substantial amount of rainfall. Forecasters issued warnings of potentially "catastrophic and life-threatening" flooding across a wide area of the southwestern U.S.

As of 8 a.m. Pacific time, Hilary's position was approximately 220 miles (350 kilometers) south-southeast of San Diego, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm maintained maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) and was progressing northwest at a speed of 25 mph (41 kph).

The cities of Ensenada and Tijuana in Mexico were squarely in the path of the tropical storm. Despite its diminished intensity, meteorologists emphasized that the storm still posed significant risks.

On Saturday, tragedy struck in the Mexican town of Santa Rosalia on the eastern coast of the peninsula, as one person died due to drowning when a vehicle was swept away by an overflowing flood. Four other individuals were fortunate to be rescued, as reported by Edith Aguilar Villavicencio, the mayor of Mulege township. Although it wasn't immediately apparent whether authorities attributed the fatality to the hurricane, local officials shared video footage displaying torrents of water surging through the town's streets.

Meteorologists underlined that the storm was on track to make history as the first tropical storm to impact Southern California in 84 years. Its arrival would bring about flash floods, mudslides, sporadic tornadoes, strong winds, and potential power outages. An evacuation advisory was put forth for Santa Catalina Island, urging both residents and beachgoers to vacate the tourist destination situated 23 miles (37 kilometers) off the coastline.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/tropical-storm-hilary-brings-lethal-rain-to-mexicos-baja-coast/ by Hilda Workman on 2023-08-21T03:53:06.392Z

Deluge from Tropical Storm Hilary hits California after making landfall along Mexico's Baja coast

Elizabeth Adams, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service San Diego office, indicated that Southern California's mountains and deserts could experience rainfall of up to 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) per hour. This heavy downpour, anticipated from late Sunday morning into the afternoon, has the potential to trigger widespread and life-threatening flash floods.

Governor Gavin Newsom of California declared a state of emergency, emphasizing the urgency for people to complete their preparations before sunset on Saturday, as waiting until Sunday would likely be too late, according to an expert's assessment.

This hurricane adds to the growing list of significant climate-related disasters affecting the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The island of Maui in Hawaii is still grappling with the aftermath of a devastating blaze from the previous week, claiming more than 100 lives and causing extensive destruction to the historic town of Lahaina.

This incident stands as the deadliest wildfire in the United States in over a hundred years. Meanwhile, in Canada, firefighters persisted in battling wildfires during what has become the nation's most severe fire season on record.

Tropical Storm Hilary had already inflicted heavy rainfall and flooding upon Mexico and the southwestern U.S. on Saturday, ahead of its projected border crossing on Sunday. Meteorologists issued warnings that the storm could potentially unleash as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rainfall - equivalent to a year's worth of rain in certain areas - across southern California and southern Nevada.

This does not lessen the threat, especially the flood threat. Don’t let the weakening trend and the intensity lower your guard.- Jamie Rhome, the U.S. National Hurricane Center’s deputy director

Meteorologists also anticipated that the storm would generate "life-threatening" surf and rip currents, including waves reaching heights of up to 40 feet (12 meters) along Mexico's Pacific coastline. Seeking safety, numerous individuals took shelter in storm shelters located in the twin resorts of Los Cabos, situated at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula.

Amidst the storm's impact, firefighters managed to rescue a family in San Jose del Cabo after the resort encountered driving rain and strong winds. In Tijuana, Rafael Carrillo, the head of the fire department, voiced the prevailing concern shared by the border city's 1.9 million inhabitants, particularly those residing in homes perched on steep hillsides.

If you hear noises, or the ground cracking, it is important for you to check it and get out as fast as possible, because the ground can weaken and your home could collapse.- Rafael Carrillo, the head of the fire department in Tijuana

In response to the impending storm, Tijuana authorities took swift action by issuing an order to close all beaches on Saturday. Additionally, they established around six storm shelters at various sports complexes and government offices to provide safe havens for residents.

Mexico's navy conducted a successful evacuation of 850 individuals from islands situated off the Baja coast. Simultaneously, they mobilized nearly 3,000 troops for critical emergency operations. In the charming coastal capital of Baja California Sur state, La Paz, which resides on the shores of the Sea of Cortez, local police diligently patrolled the closed beaches to prevent swimmers from entering the turbulent waters.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued tropical storm advisories and warnings of potential flooding for Southern California, spanning from the Pacific coastline to the interior mountains and deserts, extending as far north as eastern Oregon and Idaho. Preempting the storm's impact, the San Bernardino County sheriff's office issued evacuation advisories for multiple mountain and foothill communities. Meanwhile, Orange County issued its own alerts, specifically targeting residents living within the wildfire burn scar areas of the Santa Ana Mountains' Silverado and Williams canyons.

In a race against time, Los Angeles authorities worked diligently to provide shelter for the homeless population, while in San Diego and Orange counties, officials took the step of closing all state beaches. The anticipation of the storm prompted residents across the region to deplete supplies of sandbags, and grocery store shelves quickly emptied as individuals stocked up on essentials. Faced with potential flooding, the U.S. National Park Service took the precaution of closing Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve in California to prevent visitors from becoming stranded.

Hurricane Hilary strengthens off Mexico's coast

Major League Baseball made adjustments to its schedule by rescheduling three Sunday games in Southern California, opting to move them to Saturday as part of split doubleheaders. Additionally, SpaceX chose to postpone the launch of a satellite-carrying rocket from a facility on California's central coast, deferring the launch to at least Monday.

The White House confirmed that President Joe Biden had received a briefing on the most recent preparedness plans in anticipation of the hurricane's approach towards the United States. In response, President Biden emphasized the importance of taking precautions and following the guidance provided by state and local officials, urging everyone in the storm's path to stay vigilant.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared that it has stationed officials within California's emergency preparedness office and has assembled teams ready with essential supplies such as food and water, poised to offer assistance as required.

Initially, on Friday, Hilary underwent rapid intensification, surging into a highly perilous Category 4 major hurricane, with its maximum sustained winds reaching a peak of 145 mph (230 kph). Its wind strength subsided to 115 mph (185 kph) early on Saturday, marking it as a Category 3 storm. Subsequently, it further weakened to 100 mph (161 kph) as a Category 2 hurricane.

By Sunday, Hilary's trajectory was directed north-northwest at a speed of 21 mph (33 kph). The hurricane grazed past Punta Eugenia along the Pacific coast and was predicted to make landfall within a scarcely populated region of the peninsula, situated south of the Pacific port city of Ensenada.


Meanwhile, out in the Atlantic Ocean, one of several potential storm systems materialized into Tropical Storm Emily on Sunday, as reported by the National Hurricane Center. Emily's location was quite distant from any landmass, positioned approximately 1,000 miles (1,615 kilometers) west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. The storm carried maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) and was moving at a pace of about 10 mph (17 kph) over the open ocean.

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About The Authors

Hilda Workman

Hilda Workman - Hilda Workman is a licensed financial advisor with years of expertise in the industry. She has assisted a range of clients, from sole proprietors to large corporations, in reaching their financial objectives. She is informed about many different financial subjects, including tax preparation, investment planning and also in fashion. She believes that the best things are those that are imperfect.

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