Oregon, Embarcadero, East Bayshore re-open

Roads re-open and power back on as worst of storms moves beyond city

By Saturday morning, City of Palo Alto crews had re-opened the Oregon Expressway underpass and the Embarcadero Road under Alma Street, according to police Sgt. Sandra Brown.

East Bayshore Road at San Antonio Road, which closed Friday due to flooding, was also open, she said.

Wet roads caused no major accidents but there were handful of fender benders, she said.

Although swirling water rose in local creeks throughout Friday, levels subsided in the evening and no creeks had flooded as of mid-day Saturday, Brown said.

Despite the previous day's blackouts, all power was also on in Palo Alto by Saturday, she said.

Shortly after noon Friday, electrical crews formed a human chain along eastern Embarcadero to pass limbs over a fence. The branches had blown into electric lines and crews planned to restore power after trimming a few more branches, lineman Greg Schulz said.

Palo Alto officials closed the city's Emergency Operations Center at 4:15 p.m. Friday, as the rain subsided and creek levels stabilized.

After 5 p.m., Adobe and Matadero creek water levels were dropping steadily, while San Francisquito Creek remained nearly level, with more than five feet clearance under the Chaucer Street Bridge.

Elsewhere, water gushed out of storm drains, forming inches-deep puddles. In many areas, city workers placed orange cones or "Flooded" signs to warn drivers.

The worst of the storms has passed, but Bay Area residents should still expect a rainy weekend, according to the National Weather Service.


Like this comment
Posted by Davis Brazile
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm

My hope is the San Francisquito doesn't flood next. Our local creek agency has a long-term plan that will protect us from these situations. The last flood was in 1998 and we didn't even have Joint Powers Authority like we do now so that's makes me feel better.

Like this comment
Posted by Thomas
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Whew, the annual creek walk by the JPA was finished just in time late last year. That alone is reassuring.

However, I think the JPA needs to conduct a study on other ways to limit flooding damage. This creek walk was a good start but it seems the need is more immediate.

Like this comment
Posted by Walt
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 4, 2008 at 3:13 pm

A study! Yawn. Haven't they had enough of them? We are members of the JPA and I don't know what we have to show for it. But then again we have less flooding than these communities closer to the bay.

Like this comment
Posted by Angry Creekside Woman
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm

We are closer to the bay, Walt and more vulnerable, too. The East Palo Alto levees with those gaping rat holes in them took a long time to get fixed. The JPA was doing their own scurrying on their pet projects. We had to be brought to the brink to get something to happen.
Now here it comes again and the agency we pay for has little show for.

Like this comment
Posted by Davis Brazilie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2008 at 6:42 am

The JPA has three people that work there. They need more funding or we need another solution. It's been ten years since those El Nino storms of 1998.

It's hard to even find them much less depend on them to stop flooding and damage to our homes.

Like this comment
Posted by Angry Creekside Woman
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2008 at 7:02 am

What on gods green can you mean? Lordie, I think the JPA should get less funding and be dispanded.

Like this comment
Posted by Wake up
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2008 at 10:31 am

People who live in the flood zone need to wake up to the fact that THEY need to fix the flooding problem. They bought houses in a flood zone and want people who don't live in the flood zone to pay for fixing the problem.

Form a assesment district, build walls around your house, form a "Creek-Side" Park and build a levee along the creek.

The city should only post signs in the flood zone saying how high the water may reach in a 100 yr flood. Post at most intersections in the flood zone.
Also they should advise everyone in the flood zone to get a boat of some kind and be ready to evacuate on their own.

Like this comment
Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 5, 2008 at 1:09 pm

I understand that Mayor Kishimoto is looking to see if the Embaracdero Road underpass can be permanently flooded (that will go a long way towards realizing her dream of getting rid of traffic on Embarcadero Road, where she lives)

Like this comment
Posted by Mica Buelow
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 5, 2008 at 7:07 pm

The JPA needs more funding? It's not that simple as that. Cynthia D'Agosta has been called competent. I wonder...
Our local creek agency has too many people in place that would rather be hostile than solve the problem. Ten years later, it should be clear that these people wouldn't every fix it.

Like this comment
Posted by kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2008 at 5:58 pm

What happens if the Oregon Ave underpass floods again at the same time that the Embarcadero underpass floods AND the new Public Safety Bldg. is built on Park Blvd. - west of the tracks? How will our PAPD get deployed quickly?

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