Hilary Hammers California With Flooding Rain and Blackouts

The remnants of Tropical Storm Hilary pummeled California with flooding rains on Monday, disrupting flights and knocking out power across parts of the state.

About 41,000 customers were without electricity as of 7:15 a.m. local time, according to PowerOutage.us. More than 300 flights were canceled in California, Nevada and Arizona, FlightAware data showed. Rescuers pulled several people from swollen rivers in California, the Associated Press reported.

Across the region, “the ongoing and historic amount of rainfall is expected to cause life-threatening to locally catastrophic” floods, along with landslides and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said in a notice early Monday.

The storm, now a post-tropical cyclone, has weakened since coming ashore in California late Sunday. As of early Monday, it had maximum sustained winds of about 35 miles (55 kilometers) per hour and is forecast to move across Nevada and dissipate on Monday.

Hilary, a rare storm to hit the Southwest, could bring a year’s worth of rain to parts of a region famous for its usually balmy weather. Heavy rain and flash flooding have already disrupted transportation, and officials warned residents to stay off the roads. In the last 10 years, flooding from rainfall has caused the most deaths from hurricanes and tropical storms in the US.

As much as 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) of rain is expected in some isolated areas Monday. Portions of Southern California and Southern Nevada are set to see an additional 2 to 4 inches of rainfall, with continued flash and urban flooding, the hurricane center said.

A flash flood warning was extended for Los Angeles County until 8 a.m. local time, according to the National Weather Service. Further south, the San Diego River at Fashion Valley had risen to 8.95 feet by Sunday, likely a record for the time of year. Separately, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake rattled Southern California on Sunday.

To track the latest path of Hilary, click here.

Flights Canceled

Across the US, 832 flights were canceled on Monday and 790 were delayed, with California and Nevada airports largely affected, according to FlightAware, an airline tracking company.

Flood watches stretched eastward into Arizona and northward into Oregon and Idaho, according to the National Weather Service. High wind warnings were in place across most of Nevada early Monday.

Hilary’s path across the West will help strengthen a high pressure area in the central US that is bringing a punishing heat wave to at least 50 million people from Minnesota to Texas. High temperature will push to 100F degrees (38C) or more across a large area including St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas and Houston.

With assistance from Dan Murtaugh.