SAN DIEGO (KSWB) — Joshua Tree National Park is temporarily closing due to Hurricane Hilary, park officials announced Friday.
The high desert park will be initiating a full closure over the next 36 hours, officials said in a statement issued just before 2 p.m.
The decision was made as the National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for Saturday at 11 a.m. through Monday at 5 p.m.
The hurricane, which is rotating northward off the coast of Mexico, intensified to a Category 4 hurricane Thursday night.
It’s expected to weaken by Saturday, however, NWS issued a Tropical Storm Warning Friday morning for portions of Southern California — the first in the region’s history.
NWS says torrential downpours are possible, which may cause flash flooding that could create dangerous conditions. This is especially true for the east slopes of the mountains into the adjacent deserts, weather officials explained.
Stay up-to-date on park closures and advisories here.
Officials made the following statement on the matter:
“Park staff will continue to monitor the park and assess conditions as needed. Visitors are encouraged to seek shelter and have a safety plan.”