Tropical Storm Hilary Turns Dodger Stadium into Flooded Lake, Californians Flee

16:06 21.08.2023

Tropical Storm Hilary has wreaked havoc on Southern California, bringing heavy rain and causing widespread flooding and mudslides. The storm, which became the first tropical storm to hit the region in 84 years, dumped more than a year's worth of rain in some areas, overwhelming the infrastructure that is not designed to handle such rainfall. The historic storm turned the area around Dodgers Stadium into an island, with shocking aerial footage showing the sports arena completely surrounded by floodwaters. The green of the ballfield suggests that it fared better than the surrounding area, which was completely swamped and had foreboding clouds covering the LA skyline behind it.

The storm unexpectedly turned to move directly over Dodger Stadium, resulting in chaotic conditions. The relentless rain created dangerous flash floods across Los Angeles and Ventura counties, leaving at least 13 people at a homeless encampment along the rising San Diego River needing to be rescued by fire officials from knee-deep water. Other people were left stranded standing on top of their cars as rain and debris washed out some roadways. In San Bernardino County, flash floods forced residents in Seven Oaks to flee their homes and climb trees for safety.

Despite the storm being downgraded to a post-tropical storm, forecasters warned of "continued life-threatening and locally catastrophic flooding." The storm is projected to weaken as it moves northward into Nevada, but heavy rain and strong winds are still expected. San Diego experienced its wettest day on record, with 1.82 inches of rain falling, surpassing the previous record set in 1977. Palm Springs saw nearly 3.18 inches of rain, causing power outages and downed trees.

Before Hilary hit California, residents were rattled by a 5.1-magnitude earthquake in the city of Ojai. The storm first made landfall in Mexico's Baja California peninsula, where it left one person dead and caused significant damage. Mexican army troops have been working to clear the debris and help the affected areas.

Panic-stricken Californians raced to escape mudslides and climbed trees to safety from the dangerous floodwaters. Harrowing videos showed multiple vehicles hydroplaning on flooded roads, with some cars spinning out of control and crashing. Firefighters in San Bernardino County had to outrun a mudslide that uprooted trees and anything else in its path. The storm caused widespread damage in Southern California, but there were no reported deaths by Monday morning.

The storm's impact was far-reaching, with Death Valley-the hottest and driest area in the U.S.-receiving three inches of rain overnight, surpassing its average annual rainfall in just three hours. Many areas shut down their 911 operations, making it difficult to assess the full extent of the damage and injuries.

The aftermath of the storm has led to school closures and a plea from local officials for residents to stay at home while rescue and cleanup operations begin. While the sun is expected to come out, there is still a lot of clean-up and damage assessment to be done. The mayor of Palm Springs urged residents to stay in place to allow emergency personnel to access and clear the roads. Many residents have been left stranded due to flooding in their homes, and the fire department has been evacuating those trapped by the water.

Overall, Tropical Storm Hilary has caused chaos and devastation in Southern California, reminding residents of the power and unpredictability of nature. The region will now face the daunting task of recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of the historic storm.

/ Monday, August 21, 2023, 4:06 PM /

themes:  Los Angeles  Military  California  Mexico  Nevada

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