Tropical Storm Hilary arrives in SCV, drops 4+ inches of rain and counting  

Screenshot of the National Weather Service's Flash Flood Warning.

Monday 9:30 a.m. Tropical Storm Hilary dropped over 5.5 inches of rain throughout Sunday and Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service.  

Carrie Lujan, spokeswoman for the city of Santa Clarita, said the only reported damage of note was on Sand Canyon Road, which remains closed between Soledad Canyon Road and Silver Saddle Circle.  

Two lanes going westbound on Soledad Canyon Road, between Camp Plenty Road and Languid Avenue. are also closed due to a leaning light pole.  

No deaths or major incidents were reported, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.  

 “We did a lot of preventative work so things are in pretty good shape,” said Lujan.  

Sunday 9:30 p.m. The storm’s trajectory has changed — it’s now hovering over the city of Compton and expected to move north by northeast, making a beeline toward Palmdale and Lancaster, according to the National Hurricane Center.  

The Santa Clarita Valley is within its cone of probability — an area designated as a possible location the center of the storm might pass over. While the cone measures the center of a storm, hazardous conditions can still exist outside of it.  

Tropical Storm Hilary is moving at 28 mph. Its center is approximately 40 miles away.  

Sunday 8:30 p.m. The National Weather Service extended its flash flood warning for the Santa Clarita Valley to 3 a.m.  

The message urged residents to not travel unless they are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.  

The National Weather Service reported that 0.44 inches of rain fell on the Newhall Pass within the past hour, 1.1 inches fell in the past three hours, 1.93 inches fell in the past six hours and 4.27 inches fell in the past 24 hours.   

Sunday 7 p.m. All school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley will be closed on Monday, according to a statement released by Mike Kuhlman, superintendent of the William S. Hart Union High School District. 

The Hart district, Castaic Union School District, Newhall School District, Saugus Union School District and Sulphur Springs Union School District schools decided to follow Los Angeles Unified School District’s move to cancel instruction amid Tropical Storm Hilary.  

“With the heart of the storm still on its way, it is not possible for us to know with certainty whether we will be dealing with significant storm-related issues tomorrow morning,” read Kuhlman’s statement. “With this decision, we are joining other school districts … to use the day to assess our facilities, and to plan for a safe return to instruction on Tuesday.” 

The statement went on to say that classes were cancelled due to concerns for students’ and staff’s safety if they were required to travel or commute to campuses. It also noted the possibility of electrical outages as another point of concern. Examples of water intrusion have also been found at some of their facilities.  

“I share this news with the full understanding that school closures have impacts on families. While I deeply regret the challenges this late notification may cause, I trust that you understand that this decision places the safety of our students and staff as the top priority,” read Kuhlman’s statement. “Certificated and classified staff are to remain home tomorrow unless notified by their supervisor. Stay safe and dry tonight and tomorrow. We look forward to the resumption of classes on Tuesday.” 

Sunday 5 p.m. The National Weather Service forecasts that rain will continue into Monday — possibly into Monday evening.  

Thunderstorms will most likely occur this evening. However, a definitive time was not available. Winds are forecasted to blow northeast at approximately 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph, beginning this evening.  

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration shows that Tropical Storm Hilary has shifted east in its trajectory — with its center forecasted to pass over Victorville and continue on toward Death Valley.  

The storm is moving northbound at 23 mph and its center is estimated to be in the mountains between Palomar Mountain and Palm Desert, according to the National Hurricane Center.  

The National Weather Service reported that 0.28 inches of rain fell on the Newhall Pass within the past hour, 0.83 inches fell in the past three hours, 2.18 inches fell in the past six hours and 3.17 inches fell in the past 24 hours. 

Sunday 3 p.m. Tropical Storm Hilary is now within 100 miles of San Diego, according to the city’s news agencies. Reports are that intense winds and rain are accompanying its arrival.  

The National Weather Service reported that 0.15 inches of rain fell on the Newhall Pass within the past hour, 0.92 inches fell in the past three hours, 2.35 inches fell in the past six hours and 2.49 inches fell in the past 24hours.  

No evacuation orders, major flooding or road closures have been reported at this time.  

Sunday 1 p.m.: The National Weather Service has estimated that over 2 inches of rain fell on the Newhall Pass within the past six hours. The NWS reported 1.58 inches in the past three hours and just over a half-inch was reported in the past hour.  

Sunday 11 a.m.: The northern “arms” of Tropical Storm Hilary arrived in the Santa Clarita Valley at approximately 8 a.m. on Sunday.  

While no reports of major flooding, serious collisions or major debris flows have been reported, at the time of this publication, officials are warning the storm will intensify as the day progresses.  

Signs were displaced, presumably due to the heavy rain. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

The Federal Emergency Management Agency urged Southern California residents to prepare for heavier storm conditions if they have not already done so. FEMA predicts the storm will bring catastrophic flooding across portions of Southern California.  

“Residents should not focus on the exact track of the hurricane. Hurricanes are immense systems, and their size, intensity, speed and direction can change quickly. Additionally, areas far from the storm’s center can experience effects such as flooding and heavy winds,” read FEMA’s advisory.” As the storm moves inland, visitors and residents in the storm’s forecast path should monitor their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials and heed local evacuation orders.” 

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the SCV, which will last until 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. The warning is in addition to a flood watch, in effect until 10 a.m. on Monday. A flood advisory in effect until 8 p.m. on Sunday as well as a tropical storm warning. 

To find the most up to date evacuation notices, visit:

A shopper wades through a flooded parking lot on Copper Hill Drive on Aug. 20, 2023. Photo courtesy of Don Bizy.

FEMA advised the following for during and after the storm: 

Important safety reminders if you’re in an area that has been or is still being impacted by the storm: 

  • If local officials give the order to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not forget your pets. 
  • Flooding is often the greatest threat to life and property from a tropical storm. It poses a significant threat for drowning and can occur before, during or after the center of a storm passes through an area. Be aware: Flooding can sometimes cut off transportation routes with little or no warning. 
  • Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. It only takes a small amount of water to move people or vehicles. If you encounter a flooded roadway, don’t attempt to pass through water — turn around, don’t drown. 
  • Stay off the roads. Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way. 
  • Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. Report them immediately to your power or utility company. 
  • Your National Flood Insurance Program policy will cover and reimburse certain actions you take to minimize damage to your home and belongings before a flood.  

The Signal will be updating this story throughout the day. This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.  

Flooding was as high as the sidewalks throughout Santa Clarita. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

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