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UPDATE: Waters of San Francisquito Creek May Be Receding

If the creek flooded, it could threaten apartment buildings, homes and parking garages in the area.

UPDATE - SUNDAY 9:54 P.M.

By Bay City News

Palo Alto police say it appears that San Francisquito Creek may not overflow its banks at the Pope Chaucer Bridge as initially feared, but officials continue to monitor water levels.

The creek has already caused extensive flooding of U.S. Highway 101 north of Embarcadero Road. The California Highway Patrol has closed some lanes and the westbound Embarcadero Road off-ramp from southbound Highway 101, and traffic is moving slowly through the area.

Embarcadero Road is also closed, according to Palo Alto police.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Creek, which runs through residential and commercial areas along the borders of Palo Alto, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, around 7:30 p.m. Water levels are now receding, but a high tide is expected shortly before 10 p.m., according to police.

If the creek, which has a history of flooding, overtopped its banks at Pope and Chaucer streets, apartment buildings, homes and parking garages in the area would all be at risk, according to Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

Clogged drains also caused localized flooding at Greer Road and Hamilton Avenue in Palo Alto, according to police, but that has cleared up.

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By Bay City News

A creek on the borders of East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Palo Alto is overflowing, causing flooding. Emergency officials are at the scene and scrambling to get the word out to residents.

San Francisquito Creek is expected to go over its banks at the Pope Chaucer Bridge and at West Bayshore Road near U.S. Highway 101, according to Harold Schapelhouman, chief of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

The creek runs through both residential and commercial areas and has a history of flooding. Schapelhouman said that in previous flooding incidents the fire department has had to rescue literally hundreds of people from apartment buildings in the area.

In addition, parking garages in the area are likely to flood, meaning any cars that don't get moved may get damaged.

The flooding could also affect Highway 101 near East Palo Alto, so drivers should be alert, said Schapelhouman.

Emergency alerts have been sent out to residents who registered for them, and police and fire units are currently moving through the area broadcasting flood warnings to residents.

Schapelhouman said the creek was already four feet over flood stage, and that flood warning is based on water levels in the creek's catch basin and on readings from flow meters based upstream.

"All the indicators are that it's going," Schapelhouman said.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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