Countywide Emergency Proclaimed on Heels of Tropical Storm Hilary

City News Service

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County Chief Executive Officer Jeff Van Wagenen declared a local emergency Monday for the entire county stemming from Tropical Storm Hilary impacts.

The proclamation positions the county for state and federal aid that may come available due to the storm damage, which is still being assessed.

The Board of Supervisors will review and formalize the local emergency declaration during its meeting on Aug. 29 — the first one following the governing body’s nearly monthlong summer recess — as well as receive a report on conditions in the aftermath of Hilary.

Similar emergency declarations have been issued by the cities of Desert Hot Springs, La Quinta and Palm Desert.

On Sunday, storm cells spawned by Hilary, which began as a category 4 hurricane before making landfall in Mexico’s northern Baja Peninsula Saturday night, pounded the Inland Empire.

More than two dozen road closures occurred because of the storm, with the Coachella Valley suffering major transportation disruptions. Eastbound Interstate 10 in Whitewater was shut down about 6:30 a.m. Monday after mudslides created travel hazards.

The 911 system in the Coachella Valley went down during the wind and rain. Residents in Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Indio and Palm Springs on Monday were directed to contact municipal public safety agencies directly instead of trying to dial 911.

Riverside County is one of 11 jurisdictions statewide included in an emergency declaration signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Most of the storm activity has subsided, with forecasts for clear and warmer conditions over the balance of the week.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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