As Hurricane Hilary churns its way toward Baja, Irvine is preparing for heavy rains and potential flooding as the powerful tropical storm is expected to reach Orange County by Saturday afternoon. With more than two inches of rain and severe wind forecasted, the City of Irvine is offering residents free sandbags and will be shutting down the Great Park Balloon through Sunday, Aug. 20.


On Friday, Aug. 18, the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning for the areas of Irvine, Santa Ana, Fullerton and Anaheim, adding that wind gusts between 35-65 mph are to be expected. 

In Irvine, showers and possible thunderstorms could bring 25 mph winds, and an 80% chance of between one and two inches of rain by Sunday.  There is a 100% chance of percitpation Sunday night, with heavy rainfall expected. Warm temperatures are also expected, with a high of 82°F   on Saturday and 81°F on Sunday 

 Currently listed as a Category 3 storm, the National Weather Service estimates that this system could bring annual rainfall amounts to areas of Baja and Southern California, in just a few days. The agency has emphasized that this storm has the potential to bring “life-threatening” impacts when it reaches land.   

Other aspects of Friday’s warning include extensive flooding that “may prompt many evacuations and rescues.” Residents should be prepared for limited potential impacts to property, such as sheds, porches, awnings and unanchored lightweight items.

For residents looking to acquire sandbags, Irvine’s Operations Support Facility located on Oak Canyon Road, is equipped with 10 sandbags per household. Sandbags are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Outside of Irvine, the Orange County Fire Authority has several sandbag pick up locations in Orange County. 

Per OCFA, residents can find empty sandbags at most fire stations in Orange County. Residents looking for sand, and sandbags can find the corresponding location to their city of residence.  

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