Hilary Hits California: Roads & Logistics Disrupted
Tropical Storm Hilary disrupts transportation in California, causing flooded roads, mudslides, and widespread infrastructure damage on Aug. 20.
Tropical Storm Hilary, the first tropical storm to strike Southern California in 84 years, wreaked havoc on the region's transportation infrastructure on Aug. 20. Roads were flooded and trees knocked down, causing widespread disruptions.
Hilary first made landfall near Ensenada, Mexico, then impacted Tijuana, endangering homes near the U.S. border.
- Flooding Impact: Key affected areas included San Diego, Los Angeles, and Coachella Valley. Dozens of cars got stranded in Palm Springs, and crews worked tirelessly to pump floodwaters out of Eisenhower Medical Center's emergency room.
- Road Conditions: Highways saw blockages from mudslides and boulders, drainage systems were overwhelmed, and tree branches obstructed numerous routes.
- Earthquake Impact: An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 hit near Ojai, adding to the region's challenges. Though no major damages were immediately reported, aftershocks followed.
- Safety Measures: Los Angeles Unified School District announced school closures, and both San Diego and Orange counties shut down state beaches. Sandbag shortages were reported as residents braced for more rain.
- Unprecedented Rainfall: Death Valley, known for its arid climate, called the rainfall "unprecedented," noting it received over an inch of rain by the afternoon, with more expected.
- Government Response: California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency, and FEMA is prepared to assist. President Joe Biden urged caution and offered federal support.
Logistics and transportation sectors are urged to exercise extreme caution during these disruptions.
Source: Transport Topics