Newsom Declares State of Emergency as Hurricane Hilary Approaches CA

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared a state of emergency Saturday for much of Southern California as Hurricane Hilary approaches the Golden State. 

Hurricane Hilary developed in the eastern Pacific Ocean and was initially “declared a Category 4 storm, but it was downgraded on Saturday to a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour,” as Breitbart News reported.

The tropical storm is expected to make landfall on Sunday and bring “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” to Mexico and Southern California.

This Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023 11:38 a.m. EDT satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Hilary, right, off Mexico’s Pacific coast. Hurricane Hilary headed for Mexico’s Baja California on Saturday as the U.S. National Hurricane Center predicted “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” for the peninsula and for the southwestern United States, where it was forecast to cross the border as a tropical storm on Sunday. (NOAA via AP)

“California has thousands of people on the ground working hand-in-hand with federal and local personnel to support communities in Hurricane Hilary’s path with resources, equipment and expertise,” Newsom said in a statement. “We’re mobilizing all of government as we prepare and respond to this unprecedented storm.”

August 19: In preparation for the approaching Hurricane Hilary, residents of San Bernardino fill sandbags at Wildwood Park on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, with a line forming as they await their turn. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/MediaNews Group/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images)

Newsom deployed “more than 7,500 boots on the ground” to help local communities deal with the impacts of Hurricane Hilary, his office announced.

According to a press release: 

The Governor signed the emergency proclamation in San Diego while visiting with California National Guard troops. Also today, the Governor met with first responders and local officials, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. He also was in touch with federal officials, including the White House.

State Operations Center Activated: At the direction of Governor Gavin Newsom, the State Operations Center at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is currently activated and the state is closely monitoring impacts from rain, wind, flash flooding and potential power outages, as well as coordinating across state agencies to provide resources in preparation for other potential impacts. Additionally, the state has activated its Medical and Health Coordination Center to coordinate and monitor response efforts and has issued an alert to all health facilities in the state.

Hilary is the first tropical storm to hit Southern California since “El Cordonazo” in 1939. 

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.

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