Muddy roads, traffic backups and SUVs and RVs stuck in the mud.

That was the scene in the Coachella Valley the morning after Tropical Storm Hilary drenched Southern California.

Flooding and muddy roadways made for a tricky commute near Cathedral City, while a highway in the area was backed up due to thick mud.

Several high-profile vehicles were stuck in mud, with one man inside an RV giving Sky5 a thumbs up to indicate he and the other inhabitants were safe.

  • Tropical Storm Hilary
  • Tropical Storm Hilary
  • Tropical Storm Hilary
  • Trucks try to maneuver mud near Cathedral City on Aug. 21, 2023, a day after Tropical Storm Hilary slammed Southern California. (KTLA)

In another Cathedral City neighborhood, residents stepped out of their homes to find inundated streets and sidewalks, as well as dozens of cars stuck in debris.

Crews across the region are working to clean up the aftermath of the storm, as toppled trees and flooding continue to create headaches for residents and commuters.

The Greater Palm Springs area got hit particularly hard. A stretch of the 10 Freeway near Palm Springs was also shut to traffic due to accumulating water, and the storm dropped more than 3 inches of rain at the Palm Springs Airport.

On Sunday afternoon, the onslaught of rain turned the middle of intersections in Palm Springs into raging rivers.

By Monday morning, it was still difficult to get in and out of Palm Springs as crews work to reopen roads.

Former KTLA news director-turned-boutique hotel owner Jason Ball said Palm Springs was not ready for such a powerful rain event.

“We are definitely not built for this kind of rain, we get 3 to 5 inches of rain a year, and we got probably close to our annual rainfall in the last 36 hours,” he said.

Ball added that he hopes the desert community, which relies on tourism, will be back up and running soon.

“It will probably a couple of days before all the roads are completely open,” he said. “We are a tourist-based economy, so we can get everything back in order for the weekend, hopefully, and Palm Springs will be back in business.”

Riverside County officials on Monday proclaimed a local emergency because of the impacts of the storm.

“This emergency proclamation could help make the county eligible for potential federal and state assistance, including repairs to damaged areas. It also allows the county to quickly procure items necessary for emergency response and repair,” officials said in a news release.

The proclamation will go before the Board of Supervisors for ratification during their scheduled board meeting on Aug. 29.

Local fire departments, law enforcement agencies, emergency management departments, public works agencies and flood control departments are assessing the damage caused by the rain.

La Quinta and Palm Desert have proclaimed their own local emergencies, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a local emergency for 11 counties amid the storm.