HomeCity NewsNo Major Damage, Injuries Reported After Hilary

No Major Damage, Injuries Reported After Hilary

Record-breaking rainfall from Tropical Storm Hilary tapered off Monday as the unsettled weather system moved to the north. No major damage was reported in Burbank as storm, utility and repair crews worked frantically to resolve power outages, clear mud flows and remove fallen tree limbs.

The storm tore into the region throughout the day Sunday and into Monday morning, making driving treacherous and forcing sporadic road closures caused by flooding or mud.

The Burbank Fire Department was busy throughout the storm with 79 calls for service.

“As for the city as a whole, in general impacts were relatively minor,” said Erik Baumgardner, BFD emergency management administrator.

Parks and Recreations had numerous calls for broken branches and tree failures resulting in minimal damage and no injuries, according to Baumgardner. Public Works crews delt with some minor hillside erosion that caused gravel and small- to medium-sized rock from the soil and decomposing granite to washout or rollout into the roadway near steep slopes along Country Club Drive, Harvard Road, Walnut Avenue and few other locations.

“These were mainly nuisance issues that we see during most storm events,” Baumgardner said.

Downed trees or branches were reported across Los Angeles, with more than 1,000 such cases referred to city crews, and only 179 of them officially cleared as of early Monday afternoon. Many fell on powerlines throughout the region, causing outages.

Burbank Water and Power received several calls, mainly related to branches falling onto residential power lines or other minor issues that were quickly resolved with minimal impact. Power was out to some residents for about 90 minutes.

“In all, the city took a lean forward posture with augmented staffing and pre-deployed resources; however, I am happy to say that impacts were relatively minor compared to what we prepared for with the forecasts leading up to the storm,” said Baumgardner.

Most local rainfall records were shattered on Sunday thanks to the almost daylong downpours brought on by the rare tropical storm. The highest rainfall total recorded over a two-day period ending at 7 a.m. Monday was at Mount Wilson, where the NWS reported 8.56 inches of rain.

Burbank saw 3.28 inches of precipitation Sunday — an all-time record for that day — according to the weather station at the Hollywood Burbank Airport. Rainfall trailed into the early morning hours Monday, with an additional .28 inches touching down.

“Hilary made Sunday a record-breaking day for rainfall with almost — if not all — stations receiving record amounts of rainfall,” according to the National Weather Service.

Tropical Storm Hilary resulted in the first tropical storm warning ever issued for Southern California. Before Sunday, a tropical storm had not made landfall in California since 1939. With the storm dissipating, the NWS announced Monday that the tropical storm warnings had been lifted.

Hilary weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm off the coast of Baja California early Sunday, but it still brought heavy rain, strong winds and fears of dangerous flooding to some areas, particularly the mountains and the Antelope Valley.

Adding to the mix, a strong earthquake centered in Ventura County shook most of Southern California on Sunday. The magnitude-5.1 temblor struck at 2:41 p.m., about 4 miles southeast of Ojai, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was quickly followed by a series of aftershocks, the largest of them measuring a magnitude of 3.6. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the quake.

First published in the August 26 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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