When the waters poured

An approximate chronology of the Flood of '98

Monday, February 2
10:15 p.m. After a day of heavy rain, Palo Alto City Manager June Fleming declares state of emergency. Palo Alto opened Emergency Operations Center in City Hall on Hamilton Avenue. Oregon Expressway underpass closed.
11 p.m. San Francisquito Creek comes within inches of backing up against the West Bayshore Road bridge in East Palo Alto. At the Chaucer Street bridge in Menlo Park, the creek rises 3 feet in just over one hour, submerging the highest depth marker on the flood gauge. East Bayshore just north of San Antonio Road is flooded.
11:30 p.m. Emergency Operations Center activated in East Palo Alto City Hall on University Avenue. Water from backed up storm drains floods Colorado Avenue from Louis Street to Clara Drive.
11:30 City crews watch Matadero Creek splashing above the Louis Street bridge, but the creek stays within its banks.

Tuesday, February 3
12 a.m. Water from San Francisquito Creek begins to breech its banks. Red Cross ready to open shelter at Cubberley Community Center. Santa Clara Water District diverts water from Matadero Creek to Barron Creek. Oregon Expressway underpass is under 4 feet of water; Embarcadero underpass is under 1 foot of water. Water from backed up storm drains floods Meadow Circle and a long stretch of West Bayshore Road between Matadero and Barron creeks. Mild flooding throughout Midtown.
12 a.m. Stanford authorities detect flooding at Braun Music Center and watch water in Green Library rise 8 inches in one hour.
12:30 Stanford Emergency Operations Center activated. Water in Embarcadero Road underpass reaches within a foot of the sidewalk.
1 a.m. East Bayshore Road closed because of flooding. Bell Street emergency shelter in East Palo Alto full. Evacuees bused to Cubberley Community in Palo Alto. East Palo Alto later opens up a second EPA shelter at Cesar Chavez Academy.
1:10 a.m. Menlo Park firefighters evacuate flooded Trailer Town trailer park next to San Francisquito Creek at West Bayshore Road.
1:15 a.m. San Francisquito Creek reaches level of Newell Road bridge and spills over Woodland Avenue both north and south of University Avenue; begins to flood Whiskey Gulch.
1:30 a.m. Menlo Park police alert Menlo Park residents in the Willows near San Francisquito Creek to prepare for evacuation. Driver of overturned truck is rescued from Oregon Expressway underpass. Evacuations from homes on Colorado Avenue and Greer Road.
1:42 a.m. Evacuations from homes on Seneca Street and University Avenue.
1:55 a.m. Water from San Francisquito Creek collects on West Bayshore Road, the low point of Whiskey Gulch. Flood waters overtake parts of O'Connor Street in East Palo Alto and Gilbert Avenue in Menlo Park.
2 a.m. San Francisquito Creek floods several homes along Alpine Road northeast of I-280. Southbound Highway 101 closed at Willow Road. Evacuations from Colorado Avenue and Loma Verde.
3 a.m. Superintendent Don Phillips closes schools for the day. Stanford students traded e-mails and phone calls to mobilize volunteers to help move books out of the basement of Green Library.
4:33 a.m. High tide at the Dumbarton Bridge in San Francisco Bay.
7 a.m. Evacuations from De Soto Court and Oregon Expressway and Santa Ana.
9 a.m. Stanford University announces that classes are canceled.
10 a.m. University Avenue reopens between Middlefield Road and East Palo Alto. Embarcadero Road underpass reopened.

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