SAN DIEGO — After Tropical Storm Hilary swept through Southern California, leaders from the county and city of San Diego are assessing the region’s response to the historic storm.

“We took it seriously throughout this entire storm,” Chris Heiser, Executive Director for the City of San Diego Office of Emergency Services, said on Monday. “We never let up on the perception that at any minute that storm could turn.”

Despite heavy rain and strong winds, San Diegans avoided the catastrophic damage meteorologists said was possible with the storm, which had been downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane hours before making landfall.

Flooding and power outages were the main issues residents faced as Hilary moved through the county. Officials say, if not for preparation and cooperation, it could have been much worse.

“This entailed making sure that our drainage systems were in good working order to minimize flooding, communicating with the public on what they should do during this time and making shelter available for our unhoused population,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

While leaders say they had a plan in place to address the storm’s impacts, a lot depended on the public taking precaution. Now, leaders are thanking residents for heeding official’s warnings, helping make a serious situation a lot easier to manage.

“In the end, all we wanted to make sure was that public safety was our priority and so (we’re) grateful that people stayed home, grateful that people made sure that they followed directions,” said County Supervisor Nora Vargas.

And preparation was part of that. County leaders say more than 50,000 people signed up for AlertSanDiego, the county’s regional notification system, before Hilary hit. Meanwhile, more than 100,000 sandbags were distributed to residents throughout the county.

On the other end of the storm, leaders are grateful for San Diegans’ response to Hilary that helped the county evade significant impacts.

“Recognizing we were looking at a hurricane just a few days ago and here we are saying we’ll open schools tomorrow, power will be on for everybody here shortly, the garbage is getting picked up — I think that’s a good day in local government,” Gloria added.

Emergency services personnel said they’ll now be shifting their focus over the next few days to assess road damage, such as potholes, caused by flooding in the storm.