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BREAKING: Governor Gavin Newsom proclaims ‘state of emergency’ as hurricane, Hilary, speeds up

Southern California residents have been warned to evacuate; see which areas


By ONME Newswire



SACRAMENTO, Calif.--The National Weather Service is warning that severe tropical weather could impact several parts of California starting this weekend. In advance of the storm, residents are urged to stay away from parks, deserts, waterways and off-roadways, and anticipate power outage and water shut offs.

With the possibility of lightning, heavy rainfall, flash flooding, high surf – and even wildfire – the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is also advising residents to stay alert, prepare early, and follow all safety guidelines.


Today, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for much of Southern California to support Hurricane Hilary response and recovery efforts as the state continues mobilizing and coordinating resources ahead of the storm’s forecasted impacts starting today. The Governor signed the emergency proclamation in San Diego while visiting with California National Guard troops. Also today, the Governor met with first responders and local officials, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. He also was in touch with federal officials, including the White House.

“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,” said Governor Newsom.

“As we head into this weekend, I urge Angelenos to continue monitoring the hurricane and be mindful of extreme weather warnings,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “We know the severe impact that weather can have on our communities. I am making sure Los Angeles is prepared on behalf of our residents, including the unhoused Angelenos living on our streets, to get through this storm.”

Hurricane Hilary is currently a Category 2 storm that 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. Much of the impacts of the storm, including heavy rainfall and high winds, are expected to begin today and last through Monday.


At the Governor’s direction, there are currently more than 7,500 boots on the ground deployed to help local communities protect Californians from the impacts of Hurricane Hilary.

GET ALERTS

Early warnings could make the difference between life and death during an emergency. Go to CalAlerts.org to sign up for notifications in your county.


STAY CONNECTED

Before a disaster or emergency, think about who you will need to connect with if you’re forced to evacuate or shelter in place. Make a contact list with names, numbers, home, and email addresses. Your list should include at least one person who doesn’t live in your area and won’t be impacted by your local disaster.


BE PREPARED

  • Have a full tank of gas or your car fully charged and carry an emergency pack that includes a blanket, water, and food.

  • If you must drive, download the Caltrans QuickMap app to learn up-to-the minute road information on traffic, closures, chain control, and more. Download app here.

  • Have a go-bag ready in case you need to leave your home in a hurry.

    • Important documents

    • Cash

    • Medications

    • Food, water and clothing

    • Pet supplies

  • Gather flashlights and charge devices early if anticipating power outages.

  • If using a generator, keep it outside of your home.

As Hilary approaches the California coast, there are several significant weather events residents should be aware of:


THUNDER AND LIGHTNING

If you find yourself outside during thunder and lightning, go indoors or find a safe, enclosed shelter. Avoid open spaces, stay away from tall structures and objects that conduct electricity; and get down from elevated areas.

Don’t shelter under an isolated tree and don’t use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.

If you are in a group during a thunderstorm, separate to reduce the number of injuries if lightning strikes the ground and if you are in open water, come back to the shore immediately.


FLASH FLOODING

Flash floods can occur with no warning. Listen to TV or radio and monitor social media for weather updates and emergency instructions; get to higher ground; never walk or drive through flood waters; and make sure your emergency flood kit is stocked.


SANDBAGS

Sandbags are an effective way to prevent water from entering a building. They can be used to create a barrier or to divert water away from the building. Sandbags are also easy to find and can be filled with sand or soil, making them readily available in emergency situations.


Contact your city, county, fire department or public works to find out where you can get sandbags in your area.


What California is doing to protect residents:


Prepositioned Resources: The state continues to coordinate the prepositioning of emergency resources across Southern California and the Central Valley in anticipation of Hurricane Hilary:

  • The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) has assets on standby, including California Medical Assistance Teams (CAL-MAT), to augment local capacity, aid in evacuations, and support medical needs in communities impacted by flooding. The EMSA is ready to assist with Ambulance Strike Teams as necessary to support local communities.

  • The Flood Operations Center is activated and has prepositioned flood fight materials should they be needed.

  • The California National Guard has strategically prepositioned more than 350 soldiers and two dozen high water vehicles.

  • CAL FIRE has prepositioned nine swift water rescue teams and urban search and rescue teams along with 290 strategically prepositioned engines.

  • Cal OES, through the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System, has deployed a total of over 700 local government firefighters and support staff, as well as 15 swift water rescue teams, two urban search and rescue companies and three regional urban search and rescue task forces.

Maintaining Roadway Safety: Approximately 2,000 Caltrans maintenance personnel in the region are on 12 hour shifts, 24 hours a day. They are installing pumps in flood-prone areas, such as Pacific Coast Highway/State Route 1 in Orange County, and monitoring burn scars for potential mudslides, especially in northern Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Caltrans Southern California districts are opening emergency operations centers and are coordinating with city and county emergency operations centers as needed. Additionally, the California Highway Patrol has staffed more than 3,900 officers and other personnel in the region and has prepositioned equipment, activated limited emergency operations centers and has Special Response Teams on alert.


Protecting Vulnerable Communities: California is actively monitoring potential impacts to vulnerable communities, including unhoused individuals. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has reached out to local partners and licensed settings caring for some of the most vulnerable — including individuals with disabilities, older individuals, and unsheltered individuals — to help ensure that people have access to services should they need them. Additionally, the state is working with local officials to ensure mobile home communities are taking appropriate steps to prepare.


Coordinating With Private Sector: California continues to coordinate with major retailers, including Target, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, CVS Health and others, as well as grocers to ensure essential supplies are available and emergency contingency plans are activated. Additionally, the state is coordinating with major fuel suppliers, utility providers and telecommunications companies to determine any needs of support to maintain essential services.


Closing State Parks and Beaches: The state is actively monitoring the storm’s impacts on state parks and making real-time decisions on closures as needed. Currently, California has closed 10 parks and has 600 staff on the ground to respond. The state is closing Silver Strand State Beach and Borderfields State Beach today and Orange Coast District and San Diego District beaches on Sunday and Monday, as well as increasing lifeguard services. The public is advised to stay out of the ocean during the storm. Additionally, state parks have proactively canceled reservations at campgrounds in high-risk areas.

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