Published on March 27, 2023

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Severe Weather Update

MARCH 27, 2023

4:00 P.M. UPDATE

The Palo Alto Rangers are closing the Pearson-Arastradero and Foothills Nature Preserves tomorrow, March 28, due to the possibility of high winds, rain, and falling tree limbs/trees.

10:00 A.M. UPDATE

According to the National Weather Service, wind and rain are expected late Monday evening, continuing into Tuesday. Awind advisory in effect through Tuesday afternoon, with possible community impacts as a result including downed trees and tree limbs, power outages, and water pooling in the roadways. Please be alert and use caution while driving and report any unsafe conditions.

For the latest forecast from the National Weather Service, visit

Flood Control Improvements Status & Other Questions

Storm Community Check-in Summary

Preparing for Future Storms

To get ready for future storms and know what to expect if evacuations become necessary, expand the accordions below. 

To view answers to frequently asked questions about the storms, visit the FAQ in the sidebar. 


Prepare now, assist neighbors. Residents in flood risk areas should take precautions and prepare now to safeguard your home as much as possible, particularly if your neighborhood experienced flooding during the December 31 storm event. Please be a good neighbor and offer your assistance to your neighbors if you’re able. With more storm events forecasted, please keep your sandbags.


Prepare for this storm and future storm events. The National Weather Service is predicting a series of storms are on the way.  

  • Palo Alto Avenue at Chaucer Street
  • Rinconada Tennis Courts (at the corner of Newell Road and Hopkins Avenue)
  • Mitchell Park (600 East Meadow Drive)
  • Palo Alto Airport Terminal (1925 Embarcadero Road) 
  • Storm drains. If you have a storm drain inlet near your home in the street, consider using a rake and clearing any debris (leaves, tree branches, etc.) that may have accumulated over the grate.  If possible, please place organic matter into your compost bins. This will help reduce ponding on our roadways for the next storm.   

  • Stay informed of current and forecast conditions. As noted above, we encourage the community to monitor changes in the weather forecast.  Get real-time notifications from the City via Twitter, Facebook, Nextdoor, and the Police Department’s Nixle feed. Receive emergency alerts via SCC Alert. Click here to connect. Track creek water levels at 

  • Report damage. For residents who have flood damage to their homes, please fill out this online form at, and City building officials will follow-up. The City has established a process to offer three nights of hotel accommodations at select hotels for those who we confirm have been displaced from their homes as a result of flooding. Please use to request accommodations. 

  • Prepare now for how to turn off your home’s electrical power and gas, just in case. Take the time now to locate your home's electrical breaker box and gas turn-off valve.  If water floods your home high enough that it might reach electrical outlets or any gas-powered appliance (furnace, hot water heater, gas-powered stove, etc.), immediately turn off the electrical power to your home by flipping all circuit breakers, and immediately turn off the gas to your home. 

  • Residents in flood prone areas are welcome to move cars to a safer location. Options to park include surface lots in Downtown. Residential preferential parking (RPP) programs and timed parking regulations are temporarily suspended during the upcoming storm.

  • Consider using the hashtag #PaloAltoStorm.  If you are posting storm-related photos and/or videos that were taken in Palo Alto on your social media accounts, please consider adding the hashtag #PaloAltoStorm to your post.  This will provide an easy way for everyone on that platform, as well as the City, to share relevant Palo Alto-specific information with one another.  As a reminder: Please note that the City will not be able to monitor that hashtag in real-time, and that any emergencies requiring a City response should be reported via 9-1-1 and NOT social media. 


If an Evacuation Becomes Necessary

City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff track evacuation conditions during storms and actively monitoring creek flow. Here is the progression of notifications you can expect in the event evacuations become necessary: 

  1. If EOC staff observe a measured creek flow indicating that overtopping (flooding) is likely, the City will send a message indicating that and list specific blocks of specific streets to consider evacuating in advance of potential flooding. 

  2. If EOC staff observe a measured creek flow indicating that overtopping (flooding) is imminent or already occurring, the City will send another messaging indicating that and advising specific blocks of specific streets that flooding is now expected and that you should evacuate immediately.  From the time this message would be sent, we hope to provide at least 30 to 45 minutes before the flooding is expected to begin.  

Please understand that our estimates of impacted streets and potential evacuations will be based on best available information. While other streets may be affected to varying extents, this information is intended to provide residents with awareness of current conditions.  

Any such messages will be sent City-wide so as to make everyone aware of what is occurring so they can remain safe and take informed action. These messages will be sent in the following ways, with messages on all platforms containing the same information: 

  • Via AlertSCC, with a link to the City webpage for the specific blocks of specific streets impacted. The AlertSCC system will attempt to contact users first by SMS (text message), then by e-mail, and finally by phone. To sign up for AlertSCC, visit  

  • Via SMS (text message) and e-mail to subscribers of the Palo Alto Police Department’s Nixle account. To sign up for this, text your ZIP code to 888777. 

  • Via City of Palo Alto Twitter, Nextdoor, Instagram, and Facebook messages. To sign up for these notifications, visit

  • Via the City website at   

  • Via a recording played on the City’s Public Emergency Hotline at (650) 329-2420.

Learn more about flood warning stages in this short informational video.



Find creek water levels at  Learn about flood risk by viewing flood maps, available at Follow weather conditions at

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