Southern California is bracing for its first tropical storm in over 80 years as Hurricane Hilary moves toward the region, and Long Beach is expected to see flooding, high winds, heavy rains and increased swells.
Here’s everything you need to know about the storm and how to prepare.
When will Hurricane Hilary hit Southern California?
Forecasters are currently predicting the hurricane will make landfall in a sparsely populated area of the Baja peninsula in Mexico in the early morning hours of Sunday. While Hilary will likely still be categorized as a hurricane at that point, it’s expected to continue moving north, weakening in power as it goes.
The National Weather Service is forecasting that it will be downgraded to a tropical storm before it reaches California, which is expected to happen Sunday evening.
How will it impact Long Beach?
While Hilary won’t technically hit Southern California until Sunday evening, the entire region is expected to see rain as early as Saturday afternoon.
Long Beach specifically is expected to see showers and thunderstorms Saturday night. The National Weather Service is expecting a 40% chance of precipitation Saturday night, with 5 to 10 mph winds after midnight. On Saturday, the total amount of precipitation is expected to be less than a tenth of an inch.
On Sunday, Long Beach will see rain and possibly thunderstorms, according to the NWS, with wind gusts as high as 30 mph on Sunday night. Throughout the day, the city is expected to see about 3 inches of rain.
The storm is expected to clear up by 11 a.m. Monday, though showers and thunderstorms will still likely affect the Monday morning commute.
A flood watch will be in effect for Long Beach from 10 a.m. Sunday to 10 a.m. Monday.
How can I prepare?
Residents of areas that have historically been prone to flooding can begin preparing now by sealing or using sandbags to protect low-lying areas.
Empty sandbags are available at all neighborhood fire stations in the city. Sandbags and sand to fill them are available at:
- Station 7 (2295 Elm St.)
- Station 12 (1199 Artesia Blvd.)
- Station 13 (2475 Adriatic Ave.)
- Station 14 (5200 Eliot St.)
Residents can also pick up sandbags and sand at the Lifeguard Station located at 72nd Place and Ocean Boulevard at the end of the peninsula.
NWS officials are encouraging everyone in the storm’s path to take common-sense safety measures such as staying off beaches, checking on vulnerable neighbors and securing loose items in case of high winds.