In interviews with HEATED, mutual aid groups said Los Angeles failed to warn its most vulnerable residents about the record-breaking storm.

by Arielle Samuelson, Heated

For many people across Los Angeles, Hilary wasn’t as bad as it could have been. If you had shelter, you could hunker down and wait out the storm.

But for Charles, who lives in a tent in an encampment near East Hollywood, the record-breaking rain brought major challenges.

The 61-year-old said water came through the bottom of his tent, soaking his belongings and clothes. “I got sick just before the rain started, so I wasn’t able to prepare,” he told me over the phone.

A high Los Angeles River rushes under Sepulveda Boulevard during remnants of Hurricane Hilary which is now a tropical storm.

Charles was one of more than 70,000 unhoused people living on the streets of Los Angeles County during the storm. They are the most vulnerable to climate disasters, and Sunday’s storms were no exception.

Nearly 5 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in parts of the city, according to the National Weather Service, putting pressure on those who live outdoors. Though there were no deaths reported from the storm, volunteers told HEATED that when they went to check on people in encampments on Monday, they found people in wet clothes, with soaked open wounds, and with tents and belongings swept away.

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