SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — In the wake of Tropical Storm Hilary, several small communities in the state of Baja California, well south of the U.S.-Mexico border, have been declared disaster zones by the state government.
According to Baja Secretary of State Catalino Zavala Márquez, the rural towns of San Quintín and San Felipe sustained a lot of storm-related damage and are in need of federal funds to rebuild.
He said several major roadways and water infrastructure have to be repaired or replaced altogether after being mangled by strong winds and heavy flooding.
On Wednesday, Zavala Márquez designated these areas as disaster zones.
“This has to be done in order to receive money from the federal government so we can begin repairing the damage caused by Hilary, which hit these areas early Sunday morning,” he said. “In terms of damage, this was worse than Tropical Storm Kay back in September 2022.”
The state’s electricity provider is still trying to restore service in many rural communities and to the state capital of Mexicali, Zavala Márquez said.
“There are still areas in Mexicali without electricity, but crews are trying to get service back up and running, they are getting help from the Mexican Army,” he said.
When pressed by members of the media during a Wednesday news conference, Zavala Márquez admitted parts of the state became isolated when large amounts of water covered and washed away large sections of roadways.
“It’s true, we lost connectivity via roadways and telephone lines in large portions of the state during the storm, but we’re now well into the recovery phase,” he said.