News Details

Storm Advisory - City Emergency Services Monitoring Conditions

The City of Palo Alto has activated its Emergency Operations Center to respond to any storm-related or other emergency events. We and our neighboring agencies are monitoring water levels in local creeks and waterways, especially the San Francisquito Creek. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting two-to-three inches of rain for the San Francisquito Creek (SFC) basin over the next 24 hours with the height of the storm arriving early to mid-afternoon Thursday. The SFC is not expected to go above flood stage, however debris accumulating at West Bayshore Road may present some unpredictable problems.   

West Bayshore Road may be closed at the creek while staff  work to clear debris. At this point, due to uncertainty about the amount and depth of debris that has collected in and around the bridge at West Bayshore Road and under Highway 101, staff cannot accurately predict water behavior in the creek at that location.

Multiple agencies are coordinating to mitigate flood risks and remove debris in an effort to improve water flow under the bridge and freeway. As conditions change, we will provide updates as appropriate.

The peak flow on SFC is expected to be 2100 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 2500 cfs today. At the height of Tuesday’s storm, the peak discharge was 4820 cfs at the USGS stream gauge. That’s the sixth largest flow measured on San Francisquito Creek since the gauge was installed in 1930.

You can monitor Palo Alto's creek levels here.

For real-time information about potential flooding on San Francisquito Creek, visit the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority’s (JPA) new Early Flood Warning System website where you can sign up for alerts.

All in all, Palo Alto received a total of 7.68 inches of rain in January. The average historically has been 2.97 inches of rain in January.

Get the latest forecast for Palo Alto here.

Our Google storm map is activated. View storm events in town here:  www.cityofpaloalto.org/StormMap 

You can also find important resources for emergency preparedness and storm response at www.cityofpaloalto.org/storms including Creek Cam and JPA Flood Early Warning System


Get Prepared

Pick up sandbags at the following sandbag locations and view supplies on the Valley Water District sandbag cam.

• Rinconada Park
• Mitchell Park
• Chaucer Street at Palo Alto Avenue
• Palo Alto Airport

Please note, all pre-filled bags have been used up. Please bring a shovel to fill sandbags for your personal use.

To report blocked storm drains, slides and fallen trees, call the Public Works after hours line at (650) 329-2413. Power outages can be reported at: (650) 496-6914.

The City encourages residents to stay aware of local conditions and to access updated information on creek levels, weather forecasts and more at: www.cityofpaloalto.org/storms

Last Updated January 27, 2017