San Diego, California, known for its mild climate and sun-soaked days, is grappling with an unusual weather event that is raising concerns across the city.
Unlike areas with a history of storms like New Orleans and Florida, San Diego is not accustomed to facing the weather patterns that Hurricane Hilary is bringing.
In a press conference Saturday, Mayor Todd Gloria emphasized the city's preparation efforts.
"I want to say rest assured that our city crews and first responders are ready to respond to the impacts and emergencies that will come, and we appreciate you doing your part to make sure we can all stay safe together," he said.
While a significant storm earlier in February served as a reminder of the city's vulnerability to heavy rainfall, causing significant flooding, the current situation is still unprecedented, as it will be the first tropical storm to make landfall in the area in nearly 84 years.
Which has left residents to take swift action, heading to local stores to acquire sandbags and to the beaches to hand-make their own to proactively protect their properties.
However, local reports state that the demand for sandbags is so high that several distribution sites across San Diego County ran out, but Cal Fire authorities have shipped complimentary sandbags and are also providing guidance on preemptive measures ahead of the storm.
Furthermore, the city's administration is collaborating with various organizations to ensure the safety of its large homeless population. Measures have been taken to increase shelter capacity, adding 192 beds across different locations and relocating 146 individuals from tents to safer accommodations in Golden Hall downtown.
California Governor Gavin Newsom met with Mayor Gloria to discuss strategies and decide what actions to take before the storm arrives. Newsom declared a state of emergency shortly after that meeting.
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