Officials urge Central Valley residents to stay prepared ahead of tropical storm

Brianna Willis Image
Sunday, August 20, 2023
Rain, Thunderstorms begin to roll through the Central Valley
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Rain and thunderstorms rolled through parts of the Central Valley Saturday night.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- 84 years ago -- that's the last time a tropical storm hit California.

"But really the story is as far as landfalling storms that Hilary is not likely to make landfall," Accuweather Meteorologist Melissa Constanzer said. "It will probably make landfall Northern Mexico, but if it were to make landfall in California it would be the first time since 1939 as a tropical storm."

Constanzer says even as a tropical storm Hilary is expected to bring significant impacts to the region.

"As it continues to accumulate, there are going to be a lot of spots picking up an inch or 2 inches of rain. Fresno itself, We're just on those eastern -- or western fringes, Rather so, Most of the rainfall will be well to our east we could see a couple of stray showers," Constanzer said.

Constanzer says wind gusts will also increase causing a threat for power outages and Southern California Edison says they are ready to respond to any outages that may occur.

"One of the things that we've also done is we have activated our emergency response teams," SoCal Edison spokesperson Gabriela Ornelas said. "They will be working through the weekend and into early next week. As we anticipate these storm conditions to continue."

Ornelas also says its important not to interact with downed power lines if you see them because they are extremely dangerous -- and can also cause traffic impacts.

"If you don't need to travel and your living in an area that's impacted by hurricane Hilary, please stay off the road," California Highway Patrol officer Aniceto Ortiz said.

Some drivers we spoke with saturday say they are looking to get ahead of the rain.

And the CHP adds if you are going to hit the road -- take extra precautions.

"If you need to travel and its absolutely necessary, we're going to ask that you be vigilant, be aware of your surroundings, watching out for mudslides, down trees, flooding, the sustained high winds, those are all concerns to us," Ortiz said.

Officials say have flashlights and frozen water ready during this time in case you do experience a power outage.

They also say to create a safety plan with your family to be prepared.

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