Tropical Storm Hilary crossed the US-Mexico border into California Sunday evening local time, becoming the first tropical storm in the state since Nora in 1997.
The storm pushed into Southern California with fierce winds and heavy downpours as residents faced downed power lines and flooded streets.
Rescue workers have been called out in multiple locations, and while the storm has weakened significantly, it’s still battering California with extreme weather as it moves farther inland — adding to fears that floods and mudslides could turn deadly.
Here's what you need to know:
- Where the storm is now: As of 11 p.m. local time, the core of Tropical Storm Hilary was roughly 10 miles southeast of Los Angeles with winds of up to 45 miles per hour, according to CNN Weather analysis. Hilary is moving north-northwest at 28 mph and its tropical storm-force winds extend out 230 miles from the center of the storm. Most of Southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego, remains under tropical storm warnings.
- Forecast: Hilary is forecast to continue to move north through California and dissipate over central Nevada on Monday, bringing “potentially historic” rainfall amounts along the way that could trigger more floods, landslides and debris flows, according to the National Weather Service.
- Rainfall and flash flood warning: Intense rainfall up to 10 inches is possible across Southern California and Nevada through Monday morning, and rainfall up to 5 inches is possible across parts of Oregon and Idaho through Tuesday morning. This rainfall could lead to catastrophic and life-threatening flooding. “Areas that normally do not experience flash flooding will flood,” the National Weather Service said. “Lives and property are in great danger through Monday.” Multiple daily and monthly rainfall records were broken Sunday.
- Evacuation orders: Fire department officials are pleading with the public to heed evacuation orders and stay off the road unless they are in danger. “If we ask you to evacuate, we don't take that lightly,” said Mike McClintock, Battalion Chief with the San Bernardino Fire Department. "Just 12 inches of water can whisk away your car from the roadway." The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department issued a shelter in place order for some residents because of mud and debris blocking a roadway.
- Schools closed: The Los Angeles Unified School District — the nation’s second largest school district — will be closed Monday because of Hilary. So will campuses in the Pasadena Unified School District and the San Diego Unified School District, officials said.
- Palm Springs: Three main roads were closed and a local emergency was declared after the city received half a year’s worth of rain in just a six-hour period on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. There have been at least three swift water rescues so far in Palm Springs, police lieutenant Gustavo Araiza told CNN. The 911 emergency phone system also experienced an outage.
- In Mexico: Hilary battered the Baja California peninsula on its way north, killing at least one person and causing major flooding in some areas. Mexican authorities have lifted the tropical storm warning for the west coast of Baja California and the east coast of the peninsula south of San Felipe. The warning has also been discontinued south of Puerto Penasco along the coast of mainland Mexico.