The governor of California declares a state of emergency for the south of the state before the arrival of Hurricane Hilary

California Governor Gavin Newsom walks along the Lower Yuba River to the Daguerre Point Dam in Marysville, California, on May 16, 2023. Credit: JOHN G. MABANGLO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for much of Southern California on Saturday as the state braces for a historic hurricane that is expected to bring extreme rainfall and flooding.

There are already “more than 7,500 boots on the ground” deployed to help protect from the impact of Hurricane Hilary, according to the statement from his office.

“Today, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for much of Southern California to support response and recovery efforts from Hurricane Hilary as the state continues to mobilize and coordinate resources ahead of the storm’s forecast impacts beginning today. ”, the statement said.

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Disneyland Resort theme parks will close early Sunday due to impending weather
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Guests attend an Ahsoka fan event at Disneyland in Anaheim, California on August 17, 2023. Credit: Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Disney

The theme parks at the Disneyland Resort in California will close earlier than usual on Sunday, according to Disneyland officials.

“We are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Hilary and making adjustments based on the latest information from the National Weather Service,” Disneyland officials said. “The Disneyland Resort theme parks will close early tomorrow, Sunday, August 20, with Disney California Adventure Park closing at 9 p.m. and Disneyland Park closing at 10 p.m. Downtown Disney District will close at 11 p.m.”

Resort hotels will remain open, according to Disneyland officials.

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California Issues Tropical Storm Watch for Hurricane Hilary
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California issues tropical storm watch for Hurricane Hilary 3:28
As Hurricane Hilary advances, its intensity decreases. It is currently a category 2 hurricane, it is expected that this Sunday morning it will drop to category one.

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Catalina Island urges vulnerable residents and visitors to leave before Hilary arrives
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Families evacuating from Catalina Island arrive in Long Beach, California on Saturday, August 19. Credit: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Ahead of the extreme conditions expected from Hurricane Hilary, officials on Catalina Island, located off the coast of southern California, urge visitors and residents “who cannot sustain themselves without power, and those with medical needs, to access and functional”, to leave the island on Saturday.

The advisory was issued due “to forecast storm impacts and possibly extended utility outages from SCE,” read a press release from the city of Avalon. People trying to get off the small island can leave via the Catalina Express ferry.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles County Fire Department have deployed additional resources to the island, according to the statement.

“The Red Cross, Los Angeles County, and the City of Long Beach will have services available at the Catalina Express Ferry Terminal, including transportation, shelter, and other essential services,” according to officials.

7 hours ago
California is prepared to release water from dams if necessary, says agency director
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State leaders are working with dam operators in Southern California to make sure facilities are ready to release water this weekend if needed in response to Hurricane Hilary, according to California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth.

“People could see the spillway gates open and floodwaters release. That is normal flood operations procedure and we anticipate that at dams in southern California, eastern San Diego County, those types of facilities may be activated,” she explained at a news conference Saturday.

The department has opened a state and federal flood operations center, Nemeth said.

“That’s where we’ll be watching for the potential effects of Hurricane Hilary,” he said, adding that the department is in contact with local flood agencies and has “flood care materials pre-placed and things like sandbags and other materials for the public in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Orange County counties. We also have flood control materials pre-placed in Fresno and Kings County and other Central Valley counties as needed.”



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