California beaches closed as Hurricane Hilary heads towards sunshine state after devastating Mexico

CALIFORNIA officials have closed all beaches in two counties for two days as Hurricane Hilary’s path puts it on course to hit Mexico and USA in the coming days.

The Category 1 tropical storm is sweeping in from the North Pacific Ocean and there has already been one casualty after a family of five were swept out to sea.

The hurricane is expected to hit Baja California is Mexico on Sunday, August 20 before heading north through California, Nevada and Oregon.

It has led to California’s Department of Parks and Recreations closing all beaches in Orange and San Diego counties for August 20 and August 21.

The statement reads: “Hurricane Hilary is forecast to track into Southern California early Sunday and into early next week, bringing significant rain and life-threatening floods to the southwest and Baja Mexico.”

Huntington Beach is among the coastal hotspots in Southern California that has been closed due to the tropical storm (RWamsat/Pixabay)
Huntington Beach is among the coastal hotspots in Southern California that has been closed due to the tropical storm (RWamsat/Pixabay)

Orange County has one of the most popular coastlines in the US, covering everything south of Los Angeles including Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach.

Meanwhile, the county of San Diego stretches from Trestles Beach in the north, right down to Border Field State Park Beach on the USA-Mexico border.

Although the current projections see Hurricane Hilary missing the city of Los Angeles, it has been included in the Tropical Storm Warning area, where sustained winds of up to 73 mph are expected within 36 hours.

The warning stretches across all of LA, including Long Beach and Venice Beach, as well as north of the city to include Santa Clarita.

San Clemente, Avalon and San Nicolas islands are also likely to be hit.

After passing Los Angeles on Sunday evening, the tropical storm is expected to head inland and away from the West Coast beaches, before coming to halt near Princeton in Oregon on Monday.

California Department of Parks and Recreation added: “Emergency officials are urging the public to take precautions, limit outdoor activities and avoid non-essential travel.”

NOOA predict Hurricane Hilary to head north and hit California on Sunday before reaching Nevada and Oregon
NOOA predict Hurricane Hilary to head north and hit California on Sunday before reaching Nevada and Oregon

Although wildfires are a common occurrence in California, tropical storms and hurricanes are a rarity in the Sunshine State, with the last coming 84 years ago.

The 1939 tropical storm left around 93 people dead directly during to the cyclone, as it hit Long Beach and Los Angeles, causing up to $2million worth of damage in the process.