After Digging Out of Mud and Rubble for Days, Recovery Efforts Continue

Digging Out of Mud and Rubble in Cathedral City

Volunteers working in Cathedral City over the weekend.

CATHEDRAL CITY — The Public Works Department and volunteers spent the weekend digging out of mud and rubble to make significant progress clearing the roads impacted by Tropical Storm Hilary, Ryan Hunt, communications & events manager, said Monday.

Crews worked over the weekend in the areas hardest hit by the storm. Team Rubicon, The Salvation Army, FIND Food Bank, and World Central Kitchen continue assisting residents along Horizon Road who have experienced damage to private property.

The damage left from Tropical Storm Hilary is currently estimated more than $126 million throughout all Riverside County. Rainfall rates approached a 50-year storm for the Coachella Valley floor areas and in excess to a 1,000-year event in some mountain canyon areas, Hunt said.

Public Works crews and supporting agencies will work this week to clear mud from the roadways, particularly along Vista Chino. Vista Chino between Date Palm Drive and Avenida Maravilla will be open to drivers starting Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. The specific time will be communicated on the City’s website and social media channels.

Crews will also continue street sweeping arterial streets this week. They will move into residential neighborhoods soon after.

Road Closures and Cleanup

Here is a current list of closures and a general timeline for reopening:

  • Vista Chino between Date Palm and Avenida Maravilla will be open to drivers by Wednesday, Aug. 30.
  • Los Gatos Road at Date Palm Drive to Avenida La Vista remain closed with plans to reopen by the end of this week or early next week.

Building & Safety Support

For residents concerned about their property being deemed uninhabitable or unoccupiable (red-tagged), please read the below information:

  • Building officials will communicate and coordinate access with the property owner.
  • The City’s main goal is to assess the building conditions before any decision is made.
  • All will be done with a mindset of empathy as we know our residents are going through a life-altering event.
  • We understand if clean-up has commenced on the inside of the home, but please contact the Building Department as soon as possible so we can provide guidance regarding safely occupying the building and any permits necessary during clean-up. You can call them at 760-770-0340.

Volunteer Efforts/Community Assistance

Throughout the past week, the response to cleanup efforts by volunteers, businesses, and community groups has been impressive and has led to substantial progress.

Volunteers looking to help with the cleanup efforts on private property along Horizon Road need to be able to access the driveway of a particular home and avoid parking on the street.

Due to an ongoing heat wave, residents should dress for high temperature conditions and bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Gloves, shovels, and wheelbarrows are also needed if you have them.

In addition to support from The Salvation Army, Team Rubicon has extended its dedicated cleanup response by several days and assisted cleanup efforts over the weekend. Team Rubicon is a veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during, and after disasters and crises. Founded following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the organization has grown to more than 150,000 volunteers across the United States and has launched more than 1,100
operations domestically and internationally.

FIND Food Bank also hosted a mobile market at Agua Caliente Elementary School on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, and Trio restaurant teamed up with volunteers from World Central Kitchen to help provide meals to 250 people in Cathedral City.

Local Emergency Declaration
Due to unprecedented rainfall and flooding of local roadways, City Manager Charles McClendon declared a local emergency due to the critically dangerous impacts of Tropical Storm Hilary.

The City Council of Cathedral City approved and ratified the emergency order at the regular meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023.

“We ask for your patience as cleanup efforts are under way in our community,” Hunt said.

Please continue to follow the City’s Facebook page for regular updates. You may also visit

Image Sources

  • Cathedral City volunteers: Cathedral City
  • Volunteers at work in Cathedral City: Cathedral City