“Perfect Storm” Led to San Francisquito Creek Flooding

There was a perfect storm of wet weather elements over the weekend, which caused the San Francisquito Creek to overflow and cause the temporary evacuations of about three dozen East Palo Alto families, officials said Wednesday.

Hopefully, though, a new set of floodwalls, slated to be built in about six months, will be able to prevent such flooding in the future.

At least, that's the wish of some Peninsula residents who live near the creek, East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica whose city crews worked round-the-clock to shore up the creek banks, and Norma Camacho, chief operating officer for the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Camacho said three things contributed to the creek overflowing Sunday night: The weekend's intense rain, the huge runoff from the hills and the high tide. All that caused Sunday's water levels to be the third highest since the 1930s. The previous major creek overflow was in 1998.

While about 40 residents along the creek were asked to voluntarily evacuate over the weekend, all but one home was deemed OK to go back into, Abrica said. That one home, he said, suffered too much mud and flooding.

In nearby Menlo Park, the rains flooded at least two businesses: the Menlo Atherton Glass Company and the UPS store, both on El Camino Real. Tammra Dolence, who works at the glass shop, spent part of Wednesday dealing with a damaged computer server and soggy rugs. Steven Wagner, the manager of the UPS store, also was left to contend with wet carpets and some waterlogged packages.


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