Both a flash flood warning and rain advisory have been issued in Long Beach as the city prepares for Tropical Storm Hilary to make landfall in Los Angeles County.
“This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation,” the National Weather Service said in an alert Sunday. “Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.”
Though the storm has yet to make its way to the area, parts of Long Beach have already experienced a downpour. It is expected to peak later today with heavy rain and winds reaching up to 30 mph.
Forecasters warned the storm could cause extreme flooding, mudslides and even tornadoes. The storm has already caused flooding in places across Mexico’s arid peninsula and threatens to unleash torrential rains on mudslide-prone Tijuana, where many houses cling to steep hillsides, as it moves northward as the first tropical storm to hit Southern California in 84 years.
Following the rain this morning, Long Beach City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis issued an advisory cautioning people in Long Beach to avoid swimming at recreational beaches and bays.
“After any significant rainfall, unhealthy conditions may result from increased runoff from storm drain outlets and rivers, which eventually reach the City’s beaches,” Davis said. “Recreational swimming areas should be avoided for three days following the end of a rainstorm. This advisory will be extended if the rain continues.”
In addition, the extreme weather has prompted city officials to temporarily close all parks, trails, and sports facilities, including beach parking lots, for recreational use “out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the community.”
The closures will continue at least through noon Monday, city officials said.
“This includes all public trails, trailheads, basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, golf courses, dog parks, playgrounds, skate parks, public park parking lots, and picnic areas,” officials said. “Beach parking lots are also closed, with the exception of the Claremont Parking Lot (5400 E. Ocean Blvd.) and the Lifeguard Station lot at 72nd Place and Ocean Boulevard for sandbag and sand distribution, while supplies last.”
Summer programming and day care services at park community centers, however, remain open, officials said.
“Residents are encouraged to shelter in place during the height of the storm to avoid getting stuck in unsafe flood, wind, and rain conditions and to keep the roads open for City emergency response workers,” officials said.