Atmospheric river to arrive Thursday — and continue through the weekend

by Contributed Content on March 8, 2023

The National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area predicts an atmospheric river will arrive late this week and include rain, wind and thunderstorms. The storm is expected to arrive Thursday afternoon and continue through the weekend.

This system is tapping into very moist subtropical moisture, which will allow for moderate to periods of heavy precipitation. Latest model guidance suggests the coastal slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Lucia Mountains will receive the greatest accumulation of precipitation.

Rainfall totals will range from 1.5 to 4 inches. Moderate to heavy rain will lead to rapid rises of area rivers, streams and creeks. Localized ponding of water in low-lying or poorly drained areas as well as localized flooding is possible due to blocked culverts, drainages and storm drains. Strong winds, with gusts of 30-50 mph, may produce difficult driving conditions for high profile vehicles, knock down trees and tree limbs, cause downed powerlines, blow over fences and unsecured objects.

Get the latest forecast and weather updates directly from the National Weather Service Bay Area.

Take steps now to prepare

  1. Make a plan
  2. Ensure you are connected to receive notifications for both home and work locations
  3. Figure out your household communications plan
  4. Know Your Zone for evacuations
  5. Consider specific needs of your household to help make sure it is ready:
    • Necessities like food, water and medications are stocked
    • Your home is protected as best as possible from storm effects such as flooding and wind by placing sandbags and securing loose items
    • Have your vehicle and emergency kit are ready to go, if needed

Free sandbags available

If you are a Menlo Park resident in need of sandbags, you can get them at the City’s two primary sandbag stations and the temporary pop-up station:

Storm drains

If you have a storm drain inlet near your home in the street, consider using a rake and clearing any nearby debris (leaves, tree branches, etc.) that may have accumulated around or over the grate. If possible, please place organic matter into your compost bins. This will help reduce ponding on our roadways for the next storm.

All residents are encouraged to avoid parking near storm drains or inlets where vehicle tires or other debris may obstruct water flow.

Stay informed of changing conditions

Report issues promptly

  • For blocked storm drains, sink holes, landslides, levee damage and fallen trees, call Public Works at 650-330-6780 weekdays from 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and at 650-330-6300 after-hours.
  • For power outages or gas leaks, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 and check their outage center maponline.
  • For sewer problems, call West Bay Sanitary District at 650-321-0384.

Please do not call 9-1-1 unless there is an imminent threat to life or other serious emergency. For general questions, consider texting the city at 650-679-7022.

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