Southern California declares state of emergency as LA hit by flash floods

California flood sign
By Linsey McNeill
21/08/2023
Home » Southern California declares state of emergency as LA hit by flash floods

A state of emergency was declared for much of Southern California on Sunday with flood warnings in place until the early hours of this morning after Tropical Storm Hilary caused flash floods east and west of Los Angeles.

Mountain and desert areas were expected to see 12 to 25 centimetres of rain, more than they would typically get in a year, say forecasters.

The tropical storm, the first to hit LA County in almost 85 years, has caused severe floods in the San Gabriel Mountains east of the city and coast areas to the north-west in Ventura Country, said news organisation Reuters.

A number of towns in San Bernardino County have been evacuated due to the danger of falling trees, rocks and other debris.

Streets in Palm Springs, a popular holiday haunt in the desert east of LA, were flooded after it received ‘the most significant rainfall over a 60-minute period any time in the history of Palm Springs’, added Reuters.

In an update to its travel advice for the US, the Foreign Office said: “You should closely monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Center and follow the advice of local authorities and the tour operator, including any evacuation orders.”

However, flights between the UK and LA appear to be operating normally today, with only minor delays.

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