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.