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The original item was published from 12/11/2014 5:17:00 PM to 12/13/2014 12:05:00 AM.

News Flash

City Manager's Office

Posted on: December 11, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Storm Response - Update and Forecast


The Town and its public works and public safety crews have been working closely for the past several days to plan for this storm which is expected to continue, but subside, throughout the evening. Since the start of the storm, the Town’s Public Works crews and the Police Department have been patrolling town-wide and monitoring flood prone areas—clearing storm drains and debris and fallen trees from roadways.

As of 5:15 p.m. today, the Town’s emergency response crews have responded to more than 40+ storm-related incidents around Town (drain clearing, debris clearance, downed trees/tree limbs, traffic control, etc.). The Town’s emergency response crews are responsible for monitoring suspected trouble spots and providing proactive mitigation of storm-related impacts. While the major rain event has passed, rain is expected to continue to fall at the rate of 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch over the next 24 hours. Some of the storms continuing to move through could produce some heavy rainfall. Winds are forecast around 5 to 10 mph, lessening after midnight. Flooded creeks and streams will slowly fall, but roadway flooding is likely to remain in low-lying areas and areas with poor drainage.

If you are traveling this evening, please allow extra time to get to your destination. If water covers the roadway, do not cross it. Flood waters can often be deeper than they appear.

Local Highlights:

- Middlefield Road (Oak Grove/Ravenswood) - this area continues to be impacted by the storm and is subject to intermittent flooding. Public Safety crews will close the intersection on an as-needed basis as the storms continue. If you can avoid this area, please do so.

- Roadways that intersect with El Camino Real continue to flood in the absence of an efficient drainage system - these include Selby, Stockbridge, Almendral, and Tuscaloosa. You are encouraged to take alternate routes out/in from El Camino Real.

- Flooding on Stockbridge, Sutherland, Selby, Polhemus, Atherton Avenue, and Lloyden were cleared by residents and public works crews working to keep channels open.

- The Atherton Channel is below its maximum and continues to move water efficiently out of Town along Walsh, Watkins, and Marsh.

- Polhemus @ Euclid seemed to be the worst off as the drainage system was at capacity and water continued to make its way through as the storm rush ebbed and flowed.

- Urban and small creek flood warnings and high wind watch are still in effect.

If you’ve been driving around Town I’m sure that you’ve seen some of these flooded areas. Most are in the typical spots. Take care to avoid these areas if at all possible. The breaks in the storm have given most of the drainage systems the opportunity to catch-up. The water will subside, the ground will dry, and things will return to normal. After that, we must pay attention to hillsides, slopes, trees, fences and poles due to over saturation. With over saturation, slopes become unstable and trees get heavy with water.

Although the brunt of the storm has passed, the roads are still wet and dangerous. Please remember these safety tips when out on the roads:

- Never drive through standing water. If you can’t see the road through the water, turn around.

- The primary method of avoiding collisions during severe weather is to slow down. Slower speeds prevent hydroplaning, which often leads to crashes. Keeping a safe following distance will help if there is a crash ahead.

- Wind gusts can be strong enough to push a vehicle into another lane of traffic. It is important to maintain a space cushion around your vehicle so that if the wind does force your vehicle to drift, you have sufficient space to compensate.

- Impacts to traffic during commute hours will continue. Drive safely.

- Power outages could still occur.

Please continue to:

- Consider any downed lines to be energized.

- Avoid standing water. Do not drive or walk in flooded areas.

- Keep away from emergency vehicles and take alternate roads.

To report emergency flooding issues or downed trees, please contact the Town’s Public Works Department at (650) 752-0570, Monday thru Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. If after hours and weekends, contact the Atherton Police Department at (650) 688-6500 (non-emergency). Calls will be routed appropriately. The Town will have a Public Works crew in the field throughout the night monitoring activity and keeping active drains clear.

For PG&E (Outages), call (800) 743-5002. For sanitary system issues, call either West Bay Sanitary at (650) 321-0384 or Fair Oaks Sanitary at (650) 363-4100. If you have a life threatening or imminent danger to your property, please call 9 1 1. All emergency calls are routed through emergency dispatch. Staff continues to work, and is on call 24-hours, during these types of events to address flooding of public roads and facilities.

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