Today’s Headlines: Tropical storm Hilary slams into SoCal

A woman stands on a wooden pallet surrounded by floodwaters
Isabel Ramirez, 23, stands on a wooden pallet after floodwaters flowed toward her mobile home in Thermal, Calif.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
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Hello, it’s Monday, Aug. 21, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


‘It ain’t over yet’: Hilary brings heavy rain to SoCal. Tropical Storm Hilary, after barreling through Baja California, struck Southern California on Sunday, causing widespread, often heavy rain, flooding, downed trees, road closures and power outages.

LAUSD closes schools Monday to ensure campuses are safe after Hilary. Other school systems — but not necessarily all of them — also were expected to close campuses for the day. The decision will be made locally at each of the 80 districts in L.A. County. The Pasadena Unified School District is among those that posted word online Sunday of its own one-day closure.

In Riverside County, Palm Springs schools will be closed. In San Diego County, the storm will postpone what would have been the opening day of school for San Diego Unified.


More on the storm

Five years after the Camp fire, Paradise survivors see a hard future for Maui. Whipping winds, a sky blackened by smoke. Fear, urgency and then panic as gridlock stymied escape and flames closed in, making car windows too hot to touch. Barbara Bowen knows what the survivors of the Lahaina fire experienced because the same nightmare happened to her in Paradise, Calif., during the Camp fire in 2018.

If Paradise offers lessons for Maui, they are a blend of hope and harsh reality: A new town will be different from the old one, just as the new lives of survivors will be different from what was.

A tropical storm came to the desert, and migrant farmers faced a new danger. As night approached Sunday, the Coachella Valley faced a particularly dire threat of flooding, with its nearly flat floor draining two 10,000-foot-plus mountain ranges as it slowly descends below sea level to the Salton Sea.

While wealthier communities such as Palm Springs and La Quinta hug the mountains, poor farming communities such as Mecca and Thermal lie at the low center, with many people living in dilapidated housing and trailer parks at risk of being swept away.


Do Latinos in the U.S. have a ‘toxic gratitude’ problem? Toxic gratitude or ‘Si Dios Quiere Syndrome’ is the concept that Latinos are too content with just receiving scraps instead of demanding what they deserve.

A ‘perfect storm’ set Hawaii ablaze. Experts say it could happen almost anywhere. Disasters such as the Lahaina fire are becoming increasingly likely as warmer temperatures, development and land management policies create conditions ripe for fire.


How climate scientists feel about seeing their dire predictions come true. Wildfires in Canada and Hawaii. Hurricane Hilary hitting California. Scientists have warned about worse storms and more frequent fires for years.


Magnitude 5.1 earthquake strikes Ojai area. The quake came just as officials were bracing for Tropical Storm Hilary. Earthquake scientists were quick to say Sunday’s earthquake had nothing to do with the arrival of the storm.

‘You’re acting as his pulse’: 911 dispatcher’s voice helped O.C. woman focus on aiding husband. After Steve Kielty collapsed at home, his wife followed the instructions of 911 dispatcher Chris Carvalho to perform CPR until paramedics arrived.

From concerts to football games, life goes on in Southern California, even with Hilary. From Disneyland and a preseason Chargers game to KCON, some Southern California residents shrugged off the tropical storm as it made landfall.

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Fires threatening two cities in western Canada under control but residents ‘not out of woods.’ Firefighters have kept wildfires at bay near the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories as well as a threatened city in British Columbia, though no one is claiming victory.



A-list actors may be on strike, but you can still watch them work. Here’s how. Hollywood is on strike, but you can still find Stephanie Beatriz, Tiffany Haddish, Billy Crudup and Natasha Lyonne acting this summer — pro bono, of course.

These TV women aren’t on the verge. They’ve gone over the edge. Charismatic train wrecks have long captivated audiences, especially when they happen to be women. Here’s a look at four fascinatingly flawed recent characters.

Bye bye, ‘Barbie.’ The new ‘Blue Beetle’ finally dethrones blockbuster at the box office. Warner Bros. and DC Studios’ “Blue Beetle” has ended the “Barbie” movie’s four-week dominance atop the box office. Greta Gerwig’s film slipped into second.


Solar panels: Should you buy them? Rent them? Pass? California regulators have made investing in solar power less attractive. But if you’re the typical energy user, it still makes long-term financial sense to do so.

Tracking Hurricane Hilary with an L.A. meteorologist. As a meteorologist, Rose Schoenfeld’s job is to keep the public informed of severe weather. For her and her colleagues, Hurricane Hilary is “a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event.”


The book of Freddie: How Dodgers’ Freeman and his father developed one of baseball’s best swings. Freddie Freeman is a career .300 hitter and could be on his way to the Hall of Fame thanks to techniques he and father first honed when he was a youngster.


12-0? Believe it. USC should sweep through its regular season. If the Trojans play up to their potential, they should be perfect during their 12-game regular season, setting themselves up for a wild crapshoot of a postseason.

More on USC

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Biden’s job now is to remind voters how well he’s done his job. Unemployment is low. Poor counties are receiving billions in federal dollars. Will voters remember that when it’s time to cast ballots?

Your clothes are polluting the environment with microplastics. Can washing machines help? Most clothing is made with synthetic, or plastic, materials. When they shed, they add to the scourge of microplastic. Washing machine filters may help.

Can Texas Gov. Abbott set lethal border barriers and still win Latino votes? Fatalities along the Rio Grande are disturbing, but it’s not at all clear they’ll affect the outcomes of coming elections.


Stickers of ice cream and fruit dance around an image of a hand holding soft serve
(Yasmin Islas / For The Times; Photograph by Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

L.A.’s love affair with ice cream stretches back to before Baskin met Robbins, when they combined their Snow Bird and Burton ice cream parlors to create the Baskin-Robbins chain and their 31st flavor — chocolate mint — in the 1940s. They were preceded by turn-of-the-century soda fountains, among them Fair Oaks Pharmacy, which opened in 1915 in South Pasadena. Alhambra’s Fosselman’s served its first customers in 1937.


A headline on the front page of the Aug. 22, 1959, edition of the Los Angeles Times.
Hawaii was proclaimed a U.S. state on Aug. 21, 1959. The front page of the Los Angeles Times the next day shared the news.
(Los Angeles Times)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared Hawaii a state on this day in 1959. Over the years, the Los Angeles Times has covered how this decision changed life forever for native Hawaiians.

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