California Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency on Saturday for much of Southern California, including Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and San Diego to support Hurricane Hilary response and recovery efforts.
Hurricane Hilary was a Category 2 Tropical Storm as of Saturday night. 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.
Newsom said in a statement Saturday evening, “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.”
The governor's office says it is actively monitoring the storm’s impacts on state parks and making "real-time" decisions on closures as needed. The state has closed 10 parks and has 600 staff on the ground to respond. The governor's office announced it is closing Silver Strand State Beach and Borderfields State Beach on Saturday and Orange Coast District and San Diego District beaches on Sunday and Monday, as well as increasing lifeguard services.
The desert areas including the Greater Palm Springs area could be the hardest hit by Hillary. The Coachella Valley is expected to get about five inches of rain. Palm Springs generally receives on average of five inches of rain in an entire year. Photos and videos on social media show residents filling sand bags to prepare for the storm. Some are getting the sand directly from the desert.