As Hurricane Hilary approached Southern California, families and tourists in the Bay Area swiftly adjusted their plans on Friday evening. Chloe Sorensen, a resident of San Diego, recounted her initial anxiety when her boyfriend informed her of the looming hurricane. Consequently, she promptly canceled her intended itinerary in the Bay Area for the remainder of the weekend and hurriedly booked a flight back home on Friday to prepare her cabin for the anticipated severe weather conditions. Sorensen revealed that she, along with many of her friends residing on the beach, were fervently making preparations such as acquiring sandbags to guard against potential floods and securing ropes to prevent trees from collapsing onto neighboring properties.
In contrast, despite the imminent storm, a couple from the South Bay elected to proceed with their planned anniversary trip to San Diego at the last minute. Fernando Gonzales from San Jose expressed their internal deliberation, ultimately opting to seize the opportunity to witness the situation firsthand. However, for others holding tickets to return to San Diego on Sunday or Monday, the incoming hurricane had already started to impact their travel plans, as they received notifications cautioning them of possible delays and cancellations. Lisa Cogan, a teacher from San Diego, received such a message merely 40 minutes before her scheduled departure to the Bay Area.
Notably, she shared that there were discussions among schools in San Diego about potentially canceling classes on Monday due to the impending storm. Both San Diego and Los Angeles administrations are vigilantly preparing for the worst-case scenario. Kevin McGowan, a representative from the Office of Emergency Management, emphasized the regional scale of the approaching event, with potential implications extending beyond LA County to southwestern California, Arizona, and Nevada. McGowan stressed the need for extensive coordination and support in preparing for the hurricane.
During this unsettling time, families in the affected areas are diligently stocking up on supplies, fortifying their properties with sandbags, and bracing themselves for the possibility of severe flooding, all the while cognizant that wildfires, normally the primary concern, have taken a temporary backseat. In light of the travel advisories, several airlines have proactively implemented travel waivers, affording passengers the flexibility to modify their flights prior to facing the impact of Hurricane Hilary.
Lisa Cogan aptly summarized the general sentiment, stating, “I don’t think any of us know what to expect” as the imminent hurricane brings unpredictable circumstances. As residents across Southern California cautiously await the arrival of Hurricane Hilary, they remain prepared for any eventuality, relying on both their resilience and the support of their communities.