Trader Joe’s and Pavilions in West Hollywood are among the many grocery stores in LA County that saw a surge in customers rushing the aisle to stock up on water, toilet paper, canned goods and other supplies in response to the threat of Hurricane Hilary which is likely to bring heavy rains and winds to the Southland that experts say could last for days.
“Oh my God, it’s 2020 all over again” a woman was overheard muttering under her breath as she witness people piling cases of bottled water onto their shopping carts. “Did we learn nothing from the pandemic?”
The lines were unusually long at the registers in the Pavilions West Hollywood located in the LGBT Rainbow district. The store appeared to be fully staffed as workers tried to get the lines moving while workers on the floor stocked the shelves throughout Saturday. “I thought we’d get people in waves,” said one worker working the register, “but it’s been non-stop all day. Luckily we still have toilet paper.”
Meanwhile at the bars in the LGBT Rainbow District, it was business as usual with people enjoying a drink Saturday evening before everyone hunkers down for expected showers.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for more than 42 million Americans in Southern California. Hilary is expected to be the first storm of its kind to hit the region since Nora in 1997.
“PSA: Hurricane Hilary will likely be a tropical storm once it makes landfall in Los Angeles,” tweeted Los Angeles County Supervisor, Third District, Lindsey Horvath. “This is the first of its kind for our region, and it will afffect everyone. It is our responsibility to provide resources and support.”
To assist community members in preparations, the City is offered free sand-filled sandbags to West Hollywood residents and businesses in anticipation of potentially heavy precipitation and flood conditions. Sandbags were be available for pick-up at the City of West Hollywood’s Operations Center on Saturday, August 19, 2023, and will available Sunday, August 20, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 7317 Romaine Street at Fuller Avenue on a first-come first-served basis while supplies last. Additional locations throughout Los Angeles County are also distributing sandbags; contact the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management Duty Officer at (323) 459-3779 for more information.
In preparation for the arrival of forecasted storm conditions, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood Station has issued a Nixle Advisory to assist community members with preparedness tips and information.
In addition, West Hollywood community members should stay prepared by taking the following precautions:
- Keep emergency supplies, such as a flashlight, water, food, a first-aid kit, portable radio, and extra batteries on-hand and easily accessible.
- Clear drains and rain gutters on your property and dispose of all trash and yard trimmings properly to avoid blocking drains.
- Know how to turn off utilities.
- Monitor forecasts to be aware of weather that may impact the area.
- Prepare for high winds by securing items such as outdoor furniture, gas grills and propane tanks or bringing these items indoors.
- Prepare for power outages by having cell phones and other devices charged and, during a power outage, turn off all appliances and keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food spoilage.
- Do not use generators indoors.
- Avoid downed and hanging power lines.
- In an emergency, call 911.
The City of West Hollywood has cancelled certain weekend programming and will shut certain City facilities due to forecasted storm conditions, including:
- The Summer Sounds free outdoor concert originally planned for Sunday, August 20, 2023, at Plummer Park has been rescheduled to take place on Sunday, August 27, 2023.
- The West Hollywood Aquatic Center swimming pool and all aquatics programming will be shut on Sunday, August 20, 2023.
- The Automated Parking Garage at West Hollywood City Hall will be shut on Sunday, August 20, 2023.
- Transit services such as The PickUp and Cityline are anticipated to operate as regularly scheduled, however, schedules and service hours may be modified to respond to public safety concerns; any changes or updates will be posted at www.weho.org/transit.
- Closures may be extended as needed to respond to public safety concerns.
In an abundance of caution, the City of West Hollywood is taking a number of precautionary steps in order to prepare for the storm, including taking down all outdoor flags throughout the City beginning on Saturday, August 19, 2023,, and securing furniture and other equipment at City facilities. The City’s Facilities and Field Services Division will have extra staff on-call to respond to trees/public right-of-way emergencies and the Los Angeles County Fire Department will have augmented staffing in place and ready for tactical deployment if necessary.
To report storm-related issues in the City of West Hollywood, call (323) 848-6516. For more information about structural damage or potential hillside slope movement, please contact the City’s Building and Safety Division at (323) 848-6320. Report gas leaks or damage to the Southern California Gas Company by calling (800) 427-2200. To report a power outage, call Southern California Edison at (800) 611-1911. Report downed power lines or other emergencies by calling 911.