Creek Monitor

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San Francisquito Creek at West Bayshore Road

Creek Monitor

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Important Note:  These creek levels and other data are provided for information purposes only.  Please refer to our Palo Alto Flood Information Page ( for more details.  If you live outside of Palo Alto/Stanford, you will need to go to the appropriate web page established for your community for further information.  

Please do NOT call 9-1-1 unless there is an imminent threat to life or another serious emergency.  Downed trees, drainage issues, and other storm-related issues can be reported via the appropriate phone number as listed on the Flood Information Page.  The Flood Information Page lists other winter storm and emergency preparedness resources (including what you can do to stay informed, how to protect your property, and how to prepare in advance).   

The Creek Monitor and other systems are monitored by City of Palo Alto staff when conditions warrant and staffing permits.  Because of complex factors, including tides and soil saturation, the creek depth readings may reach high levels with little or no danger to the public.  Conversely, there may be conditions where flooding or other damage occurs even with seemingly safe level readings.  Therefore, if you perceive an unsafe condition, you should not wait to be told to take action (including evacuation).  

The graphics above reflect the individual creek configurations. The number at the top of each graphic represents the approximate water depth at which water will begin to spill from the creek. Due to the presence of floodwalls and levees at the creek monitoring locations, creek levels can rise several feet above the bottom of bridges before overtopping occurs. The graphic depictions of the creeks shown above are representative of the shape of each creek channel. It is important to note that the actual percentage of flow capacity for each creek varies non-uniformly with depth. Here is the water depth for each creek monitoring point that approximately corresponds to 50% and 70% of total flow capacity:
Creek Capacity Levels
50% Capacity
70% Capacity
San Francisquito Creek
At Waverley St.
16 ft.
20 ft.
At Chaucer St.
13.2 ft.
17.9 ft.
At W. Bayshore Rd.
9 ft.
10.4 ft.
Matadero Creek
At W. Bayshore Rd.
7.6 ft.
10 ft.
Adobe Creek
At E. Meadow Dr.
6.4 ft.
8.7 ft.


Last Updated: Oct 19, 2015