New concerns arise as Bay Area creek waters fall


San Francisquito Creek levels dropping

Emergency officials are keeping a close eye on the levees lining a flooded Peninsula creek today after floodwaters chased hundreds out of their homes and continues threatening to overwhelm the levees. Residents in East Palo Alto are on high alert, waiting and watching to see what happens next at San Francisquito Creek.

Water levels were still dropping Monday morning which was good news after rising water from rainwater resulted in a number of evacuations Sunday. Flooding began Sunday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto near Highway 101 at the University Avenue Exit. At one point, the CHP had to escort traffic to get motorists through the area. Hundreds of people evacuated from the Garden subdivision in East Palo Alto also had to be escorted out of the area.

The waters have since receded, but the concerns haven't. Menlo Park City Councilmember Kirsten Kieth says the levees along San Francisquito Creek have been damaged by the third highest flow rate on record going back to the 1950s. The California Conservation Corps will shore up the levee temporarily until a more permanent fix can happen this summer. Crews will also work to clear whatever is clogging the openings underneath the bridges that added to the backup Sunday night.

Kieth says there are long-terms plan to prevent this from happening as often. "We have a lot of work to do with this creek. I sit on the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority and we have a three-phase project to increase the water flow underneath the bridges that go out to the bay," Menlo Park City Councilmember Kirsten Kieth told ABC7 News. "We're working on it, but it's a three-phase project and we need some more federal and state funding to make this happen."

Napa River crests below flood stage

The Napa River has crested below flood stage and is receding after a Flood Warning was issued Sunday prompting the closure of the downtown riverfront promenade as a precaution. Workers scrambled to move some mobile cottages to higher ground. The river is predicted to crest again at 16.5 feet, 16 inches below flood stage.

Waters rise in Santa Cruz County

In Santa Cruz County, the water rose so fast that about 40 families in the community of Felton Grove had to leave their homes. The San Lorenzo River rose to 4 feet over flood stage Sunday. A tree also fell onto some power lines knocking out electricity to nearby communities. Getting in and out of town was also a challenge after the heavy rains caused the closure of southbound Highway 9 into Paradise Drive from Felton. The highway has since been reopened in both directions.

Winds bring trees down

Flooding and high winds are keeping work crews busy in the North Bay. A giant fir tree blew down across a road and split the roof of the house on Cozy Court in Forestville Sunday. Some power lines were also damaged but police say no one was injured.

Fortunately, no one was inside the Rosmoor Lawn-Bowling Club in Pleasanton when a big redwood tree crashed through the roof. A large branch pierced the ceiling where members typically play cards on the weekend. Part of Valley Avenue was closed as crews cut branches and cleared debris.

Mudslides and rockslides

A portion of storm-damaged Highway 1 in San Mateo County was reopened Monday after a small rockslide and mudslide near Devils Slide forced the CHP to close it Sunday morning. Crews cleared the roadway quickly but county officials are warning drivers that this section of the coast highway is particularly dangerous in extended rain storms. A larger mudslide earlier this month forced a stretch of Highway 1 in the area to be closed for almost three weeks.

There were multiple traffic problems in the Oakland Hills where a mud slide blocked lanes at the intersection of Skyline Boulevard and Shepherd canyon Road. On the way to cover the mudslide, an ABC7 News truck was blocked by a fallen tree on Shepherd Canyon Road. The heavy rains weakened the soil beneath a giant Acacia and it toppled over.

Rock slides brought traffic to a halt right on Highway 1 south of Big Sur. Caltrans closed the highway at Partington Ridge Road and at Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County. The slides happened Sunday around 5:30 p.m. but there is no word yet when the road will reopen.

Power outage update

As of 6:45 a.m. Monday there were 1,075 customers without power in the North Bay, 288 in the East Bay, 517 on the Peninsula, 18 in the South Bay, and 376 on the Central Coast. Power has been restored to all customers in San Francisco.

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