Flood Information/Winter Storms

Palo Alto Storm Watch Resources

This page includes resources, contact information and tips to:

  • Prepare for Storm Events
  • Monitor Storm & Creek Activity 
  • Report Storm Problems


1 - Public Information
2 - How to Prepare
3 - What to do When Flooding is Imminent
4 - Flood Resources (including contact phone numbers)

Public Information:

Check the National Weather Service, Palo Alto Forecast Page for weather updates throughout the winter.

If you live in an area that is susceptible to winter storm flooding, you can get filled sandbags at the Palo Alto Airport located adjacent to the Terminal Building. Additionally, sand and empty bags are available at Mitchell Park adjacent to the Little League Field and Rinconada Park Tennis Court parking lot.

City staff continues to prepare for winter storms including the use of the Santa Clara County's Emergency Alert System (AlertSCC).

You can monitor creek levels at multiple locations throughout the City on the internet by accessing Creek Monitor on the City’s website. For real-time information about potential flooding on San Francisquito Creek, please visit the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority’s (JPA) new Early Flood Warning System website. Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations (particularly KCBS 740 AM/106.9 FM or KZSU 90.1 FM) for the latest weather information.

Public Information Hotline 650-329-2420 (recorded message)

Real-time critical public safety updates can be obtained via the Palo Alto Police Department’s social media accounts on:

For information on all of the PAPD social media accounts, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/PAPDconnect.

During a time of emergency the City's primary duty is to ensure public safety. In the case of a flood, City resources are directed toward evacuating residents as necessary, responding to police, fire, and medical emergencies, maintaining utility services, providing traffic control, pumping flooded streets and providing sandbags available for pick up at designated locations.

  • Visit the Creek Monitor Page
    Real-time creek monitoring and the live CreekCam
  • www.cityofpaloalto.org/StormMap Palo Alto Real-time Google Storm Map (Note: This Map is NO LONGER LIVE. Only static data like sandbag stations is being displayed. The map Will become live again if the Emergency Operations Center comes back online.)
  • Visit the San Francisquito Creek JPA Early Flood Warning System web site
    Real-time information on potential San Francisquito Creek flooding
  • Subscribe today or visit the webpage to receive the latest activity and information on the San Francisquito Creek
  • For more information call:
    Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services
    phone: 650-617-3197
    hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm
  • Palo Alto Community Alerts
    Radio stations:KCBS 740 AM/106.9 FM
    KZSU 90.1 FM
    Palo Alto Online
  • Fire/Police 329-2413 (non-emergencies)
    911 or (650) 329-2413 from a cell phone (emergencies only)
  • City public information hotline (recorded message)

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Resource List:

Online Weather / Emergency Information

Flood Maps (historic and predicted)

Additional Resources
Report blocked storm drains and/or slides:
Palo Alto Public Works
(650) 496-6974 (weekdays 7 a.m.-5p.m.)
(650) 329-2413 (after hours)

Report fallen trees:
Palo Alto Public Works
(650) 496-5953 (weekdays 7 a.m.-5 p.m.)
(650) 329-2413 (after hours)

Report gas leaks, sewer spills:
Palo Alto Communications  (650) 329-2579

Report power outages & electrical problems:
Palo Alto Electric Operations (650) 496-6914

Road conditions:
Palo Alto (650) 329-2420 (during flood emergency only)
Caltrans (800)427-7623

Caltrans Road Conditions Map

After-Flood Safety:
Gas and electric appliance safety
Cleaning up after a flood

Subscribe today or visit the webpage to receive the latest activity and information on the San Francisquito Creek.

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What You Can Do To Prepare

The experts differ on what the winter weather will bring, but they agree on one thing: it pays to be prepared. The City of Palo Alto suggests a few things you can do to be ready for the very real possibility of flooding in our area.

Be prepared by following these tips:

How to Prepare

  • Know if your property is in a floodzone
  • Regular homeowner's insurance policies don't cover flood damage. Call your insurance agent to purchase flood insurance to protect your home and contents. More info at www.Floodsmart.gov
  • Replace the batteries in your flashlights and portable radio and store these emergency supplies in water-tight plastic bags.
  • Have a supply plastic sheeting, plywood, and tools ready for waterproofing of doors and openings.
  • Pick up sandbags at these locations: Palo Alto Airport, Mitchell Park, Rinconada Park& Chaucer St./Palo Alto Ave. 
  • Watch Channel 28 or 30 for a video on sandbagging techniques.
  • Post emergency numbers near the telephone.
  • Discuss emergency plans with your family. This link takes you to the Red Cross' Flood Preparedness tips.
  • Do not dump on storm drains and keep creeks clean. It is illegal to dump things into a creek or storm drain. Drains in your street flow directly to local creeks. Creeks are a valuable natural resource and habitat for local endangered species.
    • Pollution Hotline – 650-329-2943 Or 1-888-510-5151

Flood Preparedness Resources:

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If Flooding is Present or Imminent

  • Stay informed about weather conditions. Use the radio (tuned to KCBS 740 AM/106.9 FM or KZSU 90.1 FM) as your primary source of information and instruction. (See other resources below.)
  • Make sure your family and pets are safe. Then, if time permits, move valuable household possessions from off the floor.
  • Do not try to drive across a flooded road -- you could become stranded or trapped.
  • Report downed power lines, leaking gas lines, or blocked storm drains to the City immediately (see numbers below).
  • Be ready to evacuate if directed by emergency personnel.
    • The city will make notifications using AlertSCC, Radio (90.1 FM) and Social Media
      • Information will include evacuations, routes and shelter locations

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Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017