The volatile San Francisquito Creek climbed above the 50 percent "alert" level shortly before 4 a.m. today, but "didn't get close" to the emergency-activation 70 percent, Police/Fire Chief Dennis Burns reported.
He said a rainfall reading at Foothills Park showed a total for this heavy but brief storm of 1.87 inches for the last 24 hours.
Today's forecast of light showers clearing by tonight means any flood danger is past, Burns noted. He said residents may check creek depths by going to the city's website, www.cityofpaloalto.org, and checking the creek monitor and creek-cam section.
The creek is prone to rise rapidly during heavy rains because it is fed by a line of short, steep canyons above Woodside and Portola Valley. Once the ground is saturated, the runoff builds rapidly in the lower stretches.
Cities along the creek and Santa Clara and San Mateo counties -- which the creek divides -- are working as a Joint Powers Authority to devise and implement improvements to reduce the potential for flooding. But high costs and a slow pace of federal funding have slowed progress over the years.