Hurricane Hilary: California hit by ‘catastrophic’ flooding
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California hit by severe flooding from Hurricane Hilary

California hit by severe flooding from Hurricane Hilary

Hurricane Hilary, a rare storm to hit the US West, will likely bring a year’s worth of rain across the region

Hurricane Hilary

California and the Southwest are girding for dangerous flooding as the former Hurricane Hilary brings heavy rain and treacherous tides while canceling hundreds of flights.

Hilary came ashore in California late Sunday as its top winds eased to 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour, down from 110 miles per hour earlier, making it a tropical storm.

Hurricane Hilary tracking across the US West Coast

The National Hurricane Center predicts it will move across parts of Southern California and Southern Nevada on Monday, bringing “life-threatening” and “catastrophic” flooding to a large area.

Across California the rain will continue through Sunday before ending Monday, said Alyson Hoegg, a meteorologist with commercial forecaster AccuWeather. “Flooding is a major concern with this,” she said.

Hilary, a rare storm to hit the US West, will likely bring a year’s worth of rain across the region, causing floods, mudslides and power outages and disrupting land and air transportation.

In the last 10 years, flooding from rainfall has caused the most deaths from hurricanes and tropical storms in the US.

“Tornadoes, lightning strikes, I’ve got Cal Fire worried about wildfires because of the winds,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press conference, referring to the state’s fire protection department. “These are certainly interesting times.

Games rescheduled, flights cancelled

Amtrak has canceled some services between San Diego and Los Angeles, according to the passenger rail carrier’s website. Major League Baseball moved forward Sunday’s games in San Diego and Los Angeles to Saturday.

Across the US, 1,816 flights were canceled for Sunday with another 552 scratched for Monday, the majority out of California and Nevada airports, according to FlightAware, an airline tracking company.

A widespread area will likely get as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain with some isolated areas receiving 10 inches or more, especially in the mountains.

Flooding rains that started across northern Mexico spread into Southern California and the US Southwest on Saturday. In the US, flood watches reach northward to Idaho and as far east as Utah.

There’s a 40 per cent chance flash flooding may occur across Southern California and Nevada, including Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas.

Hilary’s path across the West will help strengthen a high-pressure area across the central US that is forecast to bring a punishing heat wave to at least 50 million people from Minnesota to Texas next week.

High temperature will push to 100F degrees (38C) or more across a large area including St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas and Houston.

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