Palo Alto stocks sandbags, prepares for storm

Heavy rains predicted for Saturday and Sunday

Palo Alto is bracing for a weekend of heavy rain by stocking the sandbag stations at Rinconada and Mitchell parks and the Palo Alto Airport and by having city employees available on call to assist with storm-related incidences.

The National Weather Services forecasts that about 3/4 inch of rain is expected to fall on the Peninsula on Saturday, with about twice as much in the foothills. Another 1 1/2-inches is set to fall on Sunday (about 2 1/2 in the foothills), which along with higher-than-average tide levels, may increase the likelihood of a flash flood, according to the city.

Though the National Weather Service has not issued any warnings to date, Palo Alto officials noted in an announcement that they plan to have additional City staff available on call over the weekend to assist with storm-related problems. The city also has created a web page with resources relating to the storm, including tips for preparation. The Police Department plans to use the hashtag #PaloAltoStorm for emergency updates, if needed.

Residents will also be able to monitor creek levels on Palo Alto's Creek Monitor page or on the Flood Early Warning System from the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, the agency charged with containing flooding from the creek.

Residents who wish to report things like storm drains and fallen leaves are asked to call the Police Department's dispatch center at 650-329-2413.

The sandbags at the city's three stations were stocked on Friday and officials were planning to restock them for this weekend. Once the inventory is depleted, empty bags and loose sand will be supplied for residents who wish to come in with shovels to fill the bags.

In the event of an emergency, the city's Emergency Operations Center will be activated and a map of major incidents, including flooding, downed wires and roadway debris, will be available and updated as possible at


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Correction: This story has been updated to clarify when the map of storm-related incidents will be made available and updated.


14 people like this
Posted by Bob Wenzlau
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Bob Wenzlau is a registered user.

One area of concern has been the maintenance of the creeks including San Francisquito Creek. So as we wait for how the creeks will perform, one unknown factor is the diligence of Santa Clara Valley Water District in removing the debris that might cause Chaucer or other bottle necks to be obstructed. The challenge I feel with multi-agency oversight is who to ask. At this point I will expect that the creek has been maintained, and that we can enjoy the puddles without fear of household flooding. I so abhor the collection of sandbags - a dreadful duty.

Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Anyone know how we are suppose to return the sandbags now that the winter is over?

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