Southern California Communities Recovering Following Tropical Storm Hilary


As we move beyond the storm that blew over most of Southern California, the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is working to assist counties as they clean up and recover from the impacts of Tropical Storm Hilary. Cal OES is working in close coordination with counties and agencies to assess and validate damages to public and private property and infrastructure.

The state is working with Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial counties by communicating with partners, working to open and clear roads, identifying any unmet needs and connecting survivors with state and federal programs. All shelters have closed, which is good news as survivors are going back home.

In Riverside County, most of the damage was to infrastructure throughout the county, including the flooding of the 10 Freeway in the Palm Springs area and damage to railroad tracks. Officials are currently performing damage assessments across the county. Cathedral City received the brunt of the damage, with mud and debris in residential and business properties. Only until damage assessments are conducted and roads cleared will locals know the full extent of damages.

San Bernardino County is continuing to clear mud and debris off roads, which were damaged along with bridges and properties. The communities of Forest Falls, Oak Glen, Phelan, Seven Oaks and Wrightwood have seen the most damage, with public agencies reporting damage. The county is planning to open a Local Assistance Center soon to support survivors and businesses suffering disaster-related losses or damages.

In Imperial County, while prepositioned equipment helped protect their major assets, the county saw rain and wind damage to power lines, trees, siphons, and roads, mostly in the Ocotillo and Salton City communities. They are continuing to clear sand and rocks and repair roads.

As San Diego County was in the direct path of the storm, the county mostly saw rain and flooding in localized areas. Damage assessments are currently ongoing. The county continues to provide regular updates on their county website and social media platforms.

Currently, Cal OES is connecting with multiple tribal governments in San Diego, Riverside and Inyo Counties to help report any impacts and provide damage assessments.

In addition, the State Voluntary Agency Liaison is coordinating with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters in the impacted areas to gather information on ongoing activities and unmet needs.

Because flood events don’t immediately show the full impact of damage, Cal OES will continue to work with counties to assess and make requests well after the fact. Cal OES will work hand-in-hand with those counties to monitor the damage and ensure their needs are met.