UPDATE: Streets flood, but creeks don't

As second of three weekend storms tapers off, residents breathe sigh of relief

Hours after rising creek waters prompted Palo Alto officials to activate the city's emergency operations center, water levels have begun to subside.

Shortly before noon, Adobe Creek was three inches from flooding, Police Sgt. Sandra Brown said.

Parts of East Meadow Drive near the confluence of Adobe and Barron creeks had flooded. Along East Meadow Circle, water had risen to the middle of hubcaps on cars.

Police were also monitoring Greer Road near Maddux Drive near the Matadero Canal, Brown said.

Storm drains in various parts of the city appeared to be backed up, causing localized street flooding.

Just before 3 p.m., San Francisquito Creek peaked, leveling off more than 5 feet below the 16-foot limit.

With subsiding rain, water levels began receding. But half an hour later, a handful of people remained on the banks near the Chaucer Street bridge, watching the brown, swirling water rush underneath.

Palo Alto Avenue resident Cynthia DiGiovanni said she wasn't worried Friday, but if another storm hits with the ground saturated, the creek could flood.

DiGiovanni lived through the 1998 flood and an earlier flood.

"There was nothing in here (Thursday)," DiGiovanni said, pointing at the swollen creek.

By 4:30 p.m., the creek level had retreated to 10.2 feet.

Debris in creeks may be exacerbating the situation, Brown said earlier in the day.

In the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, near Edgewood Plaza, a drain on Greer Road backflowed, according to resident Steve Bogner. Water was gushing out of it and flowing up Greer to the drains toward Channing Avenue. A handful of residents reported taking turns clearing storm drains so that their blocks would not puddle.

— Palo Alto Weekly Staff


Like this comment
Posted by Previous Flood Victim
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2008 at 12:02 pm

There used to be a link to a creek watch site, but I can't find it... does anyone know where it is.

Like this comment
Posted by Matt
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Come on, you can't find it using the new PA web site :-).

Here's the link:

Web Link

As of 12 noon, the creek monitor is currently broken.

Like this comment
Posted by very1silent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm

12:10 photo of Adobe Creek at the Wilkie Way/Miller Ave footbridge:
Web Link

Looks to be at a record high.

Like this comment
Posted by nobody special
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2008 at 12:40 pm

this is the best place for info on a flood watch.

they have a live cam of the san francisquito creek and a link to sandbag locations.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Avid CM Watcher
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2008 at 1:44 pm

I've watched the Creek Monitor all summer and it's worked great. Of course, we didn't need it then...

Like this comment
Posted by Kaleo
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm

The creek monitor is working now.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Just get a couple of bored teenagers to stand at each bridge on each creek with a cell phone to text the info and send pics to this website and then we would have a foolproof system!!

Like this comment
Posted by Henderson
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2008 at 8:16 pm

PA Public Works has done a good job so far.

Here is a neat site that gives an overview of San Francisquito Creek:

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Jenny
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2008 at 11:57 am

I walked along East Meadow Drive today (1/6), and the storm drains were blocked with leaves and debris. To stop flooding, it would really help if residents cleaned off the grates to the storm drains.

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