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By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2023 (Ocotillo, CA) – An evacuation warning has been issued for the entire towns of Ocotillo as flash flooding has begun. Flooding is expected to worsen as Hurricane Hilary roars up from Mexico and is forecast to become a tropical storm when the eye hits our region late tomorrow.

Imperial County issued the warning due to heavy rain, flash flooding, high winds forecast to reach 82 miles per hour in the small desert town of Ocotillo, just over the county line. 

The Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter at the Imperial County Community Center,375 S. 1st Street, El Centro.

Video of flash flooding has been posted on Twitter and Facebook by Reed Timmer Extreme Meteorologist, who said floodwaters three feet deep were flowing from mountains northwest of Ocotillo into the Salton sea earlier today, peaking at six feet, with more flooding anticipated in the normally dry wash.

Ocotillo is where the 1976 Tropical Cyclone Kathleen sent a wall of water 10 feet high across Ocotillo, flooding homes and causing fatalities.

Up the hill in Jacumba, Ben Schultz at the Desert View Tower posted on Facebook at 5 p.m., “Continuous lightning. I can actually look around and see the landscape from the constant lightning. The sound of thunder is so constant that it all blends together into one dull sound.”



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