Mysterious 'noxious odor' taints air in Palo Alto Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Jan 23, 2008 at 8:08 pm
More than 200 residents called city emergency lines between 5 at 6:30 p.m. to report a mysterious "noxious odor" in the northern part of Palo Alto, Palo Alto Police Sgt. Sandra Brown said. Numerous other calls were reported from Menlo Park and East Palo Alto residents.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 6:57 PM
Posted by Palo alto nurse, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2008 at 8:26 pm
Outside it's definately a gas smell and it's strong at times and weaker at other times!- We closed all the windows in the house and are staying inside here in north PA....So...do we just wait and see.... or think about leaving the neighborhood? What I can't understand is they first smelled this gas smell at noon today on Hamilton Ave and still have no answers or found the point orgin yet. This is very strange-
Posted by Palo Alto resident, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2008 at 8:36 pm
My son noticed an odor this morning, driving on Embarcadero near El Camino. I thought it was just fireplace smoke kept in the air by low clouds. It's still strong enough to notice. Does anyone else have irritated eyes?
Posted by helen, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2008 at 8:42 pm
So glad to know that I didn't lose my mind and that I wasn't imagining things! Husband couldn't smell a thing....it is less now than at 4:30 p.m. when I was ready to call someone about it. Just kept hoping the house wouldn't explode.
Posted by Dumpster, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm
Hey folks, ever heard of the P.A. dump? It is almost exactly NE of town, close to 101 and of course at the end of Embarcadero.
If you have a northeasternly wind blowing then it will take the dump smell and waft it over Palo Alto. Dumps tend to smell like surphur, which is the odor gas companies add to natural gas (which has no smell) to make leaks identifiable.
Posted by Al R, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2008 at 9:43 pm
The dump's been there for decades. Never smelled that before. It may well be the source of the smell, but it would be the first time in many years. I've seen what natural gas explosions can do - I prefer to err on the side of caution.
Posted by JP, a resident of another community, on Jan 23, 2008 at 11:12 pm
I have smelled that "natural gas" type odor several times before when I was at the Post Office on East Bayshore Road. The last time was over a year ago and I reported it to the city. I was told it was coming from Ciardella's Garden Supply. That company has now moved out of the area, but the smell is back. Hope they locate it this time. It is NOT a healthy smell.
Posted by helen, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2008 at 12:13 am
I've lived in the neighborhood since 1989 and never smelled that smell before either. Nor have I smelled any of the hundreds of times I have been running/walking at the Baylands over those same years (next to the dump)
Posted by Robert B Harrington, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2008 at 6:01 am
The City's Emergency Notification System worked perfectly for me.
Within 10 minutes of 7:10 pm, I received a very clear alert and instructions to call 911 if I knew the source of the odor three different ways 1) via phone, 2) via voice mail on my fax, and 3) via email.
I signed up about a month ago, and the City came through with flying colors.