Area residents urged to prepare for significant storm on Wednesday into Thursday

by Linda Hubbard on January 3, 2023

The National Weather Service indicates a strong storm system and atmospheric river will bring moderate to heavy rainfall and strong winds to our area from Wednesday (01/04/23) to Thursday (01/05/23). This may cause localized flooding, standing water on roadways, falling trees, and widespread power outages.

After the News Years Eve rain, there was an additional 0.48″ on Monday, January 2 and 0.04″ as of 4:30 pm today, bringing the year-to-date total to 15.59″.

Following storm preparation tips issued earlier by the City of Menlo Park — including where to obtain sandbags — Atherton is also alerting residents about the dangers of the approaching storm.

To stay safe during this storm, the Atherton Department of Police recommends that residents of the town and surrounding areas:

  • Make sure emergency back-up power generators, sump pumps, and other detention systems are in good working order.
  • Ensure flashlights, lanterns, and candles are in an accessible location in case of a power outage.
  • Avoid contact with floodwaters as they may be contaminated or electrically charged from downed or underground power lines.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company.
  • Exercise caution when driving and adhere to any detours, warnings, or barricades, and do not drive through flooded roads. Roadways where floodwaters have receded may be damaged.
  • Please avoid being outdoors or around branches and trees.

Additionally, you can reduce the amount of water entering your property by placing sandbags in key locations. When placing sandbags, stagger them in an overlapping pattern like brickwork. Consider how you would remove trapped floodwater.

Sandbags are available to Atherton residents at the self-service sandbag station at Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Avenue, in the rear parking lot. Limit of 5 sandbags per residence. Due to regional shortages, Atherton’s supply of sandbags is very limited. The town is working with the County Office of Emergency Management to obtain additional sandbags.

The Atherton Department of Police is strongly recommending community members “shelter in place” during peak storm hours and stay off the roads.

Additional tips:

  • Pack a “go bag” to evacuate quickly if needed.
  • Have insurance policies handy (take photos of each room in your home beforehand).
  • Prepare supplies at home in case closed roads/power outages last for several days.
  • Plan for pet needs.
  • Stock up on necessary medications.

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