In a normal year, the City of Palo Alto distributes around 5,000 filled sandbags. In expectation of El Nino, the City has geared up to increase filled sandbag availability to our residents. Beginning in October the City has provided a steady supply of filled sandbags. More than 25,000 filled sandbags have already been distributed, and the City has an additional 5,000 filled sandbags available until supplies last. Once our filled sandbag supply is depleted, empty bags and loose sand will continually be made available throughout the rainy season. Residents should prepare in advance and bring a shovel to fill empty bags. The city currently has an inventory of 40,000 empty bags ready for delivery to city operated sandbag stations.
Filled sandbags are available at Mitchell Park (600 East Meadow Drive) and Rinconada Tennis Courts (Newell & Hopkins), and the Santa Clara Valley Water District is maintaining an inventory at the Palo Alto Airport. Residents do not need to bring shovels or other tools to pick up sandbags currently at these locations. Once the filled sandbag inventory is depleted however, shovels will be required. Download the map of sandbag locations.
There is no limit on the number of filled sandbags that can be taken to a single address. There is however, a limit on how many bags per vehicle trip (10 per passenger vehicle and 20 per commercial vehicle) so as not to overload vehicles and make them unsafe.
Sandbags are used primarily during heavy rains to protect homes from flooding through water entering in low level garages, basements, etc. If a creek overflows its banks and your personal safety is at risk, have an evacuation plan ready and know where assigned shelters are in your area. Sandbags will not provide an adequate level of protection if creek levels overtop the bank. Stay safe and alert by signing up for the San Francisquito Creek early warning flood alerts via txt or email on JPA's website: http://floodwarning.sfcjpa.org