Hilary swamps desert city of Palm Springs with most rain in single day, wipes out roads
Record rainfall from Hilary has overwhelmed the Southern California desert community of Palm Springs, which saw nearly 50 percent of its yearly rainfall in less than a day.
Flash floods submerged roads, residential neighborhoods and golf courses throughout the typically arid city. Palm Springs recorded 3.18 inches of rain Sunday, which is not only the wettest summer day the city has ever had, but also the record for most rainfall in a single day.
Palm Springs Mayor Grace Garner urged residents to stay home as officials assess damage to roads, making travel around the area unsafe.
“We have not heard of any fatalities related to this storm,” Garner told MSNBC on Monday. “We have had several swift water rescues, and I’ve been helping out neighboring cities, but we are very well prepared.”
The 911 dispatch system went down late Sunday, and the Palm Springs Police Department urged people to text or call an alternative number for immediate help. Garner said that a temporary fix was put in place, but that lines were down across the Coachella Valley.
Interstate 10 was closed in both directions. Roughly two dozen streets have also been closed in the area as a result of flooding, according to NBC Palm Springs.
Sean Jacobs, who lives near the Palm Springs airport, is originally from Michigan and has seen floods before. But even Jacobs said he was a bit in awe of the damage from Sunday’s storm, fearing that the flooded interstate is a bad sign.
“It’s overwhelming really … seeing this destruction,” Jacobs said. “How long will it take to get it cleaned up and people can be on their way to work again?”
He added that he felt bad for the people whose homes and cars were damaged, noting that people and their pets are essentially stranded at the moment.
“A lot of people are kind of laughing this off and thinking that it is not a big deal, but it is,” Jacobs said. “And it’s going to affect people for a long time.”
Residents have shared video and photos of high-standing water across Palm Springs on social media.
Cars have also been stuck, and the mud formed following the deluge of rainwater has left some people stranded inside their homes.
Members of the National Guard have also been deployed to help local authorities clear the roads.
The official Cathedral City Facebook page said that about 50 mobile homes were under water at the Canyon Mobile Home Park with four adults requiring evacuation by the Cathedral City Fire Department.
The fire department did not immediately respond to a request for more information.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
This article originally appeared on www.aol.com