Many felled trees due to yesterday’s wind storm — power outages remain

by Linda Hubbard on March 15, 2023

Walk the streets of Menlo Park and Atherton and you’ll see many downed trees. We spotted this one at the corner of Edgewood and Lemon.

InMenlo weather watcher updated rainfall report for March 14 is 0.53″, bringing the year-to-date to 33.49″.

Here are some updates from the City of Menlo Park:

At least 30 separate trees came down across the city causing multiple street closures and power outages. Public Works crews worked aggressively to reopen streets and clear debris, but the overall storm cleanup will take days. Storm damage can be widely seen across the city. The fence at the ball park at Nealon Park was damaged, and the dog park there will remain closed until repairs can be made.

Please check the latest street closure and traffic signal outages using the Zonehaven map. Ongoing power outages may continue to cause periodic traffic signal outages. Please drive carefully and treat any signal that is flashing or out as a stop sign. City crews have placed temporary stops signs at intersections where possible.

Extended power outages

PG&E continues to work to restore power and this morning several areas of the Belle Haven and Willows neighborhoods came back online. The City of Menlo Park is closely monitoring large sections of remaining outages across the rest of the city. City staff have been in contact with multiple representatives at PG&E and continue to press them for updates and restoration timelines. We know how frustrating it is to be without the information, and we all want to see power restored as safely and and quickly as possible.

PG&E Safety Net program

Residential customers may qualify for PG&E’s Safety Net program which offers:

Payments to residential customers who are without power for more than 48 hours due to a severe events, like storms (as determined by PG&E).

The Safety Net program, pays $25 to $100 automatically 60 to 120 days after the outage. The amount may depend on the outage length.

City of Menlo Park one-night hotel stay reimbursement policy for PG&E power outages

The City of Menlo Park is evaluating its policy for one-night hotel stay reimbursements related to extended PG&E power outages. If this outage event extends into Thursday evening, March 16, updated information about potential reimbursements will be posted to the city website (this storm update page) by 3 p.m., Thursday, March 16.

For extended outages, learn about PG&E’s discounts on hotels (PDF).

Menlo Park libraries to remain open extended hours

For those without power or needing a place to recharge, Menlo Park libraries will remain open extended hours until 10 p.m., Wednesday, March 15, and reopen again at 10 a.m., Thursday, March 16. These facilities are climate-controlled and offer seating, reading materials, laptop computers, places to charge mobile devices, and public access internet and Wi-Fi. Visit or call 650-330-2520.

Update from Town of Atherton

PG&E has restored the vast majority of outages that have affected the Town; however, there remains about 500+ that are without power. Most are located in SW Atherton although there are spot outages throughout Town and a large section in SW of Town. PG&E is physically in Town and working to clear as many as they can. If you have an outage, you are encouraged to report it to PG&E and subscribe to their text alerts. Smart meters will automatically alert PG&E if there is an outage.

PG&E is reporting that most customers will be restored long before the March 17 posted date on the PG&E Outage website. PG&E has brought in additional staffing to San Mateo County and will be working 16 hour days, but will have crews working 24/7 to achieve full restoration.

The Town has authorized storm related tree work to continue into the weekend if needed to clear debris and hazards from roadways and power lines. The Town has also reached out to PG&E to arrange a Town Hall meeting in the near future to address concerns related to hazard identification, line clearing, and communication. As soon as that meeting is scheduled we will advise.

Report issues promptly

  • In Menlo Park, for blocked storm drains, sink holes, landslides, levee damage and fallen trees, call \Public Works at 650-330-6780 weekdays from 7 a.m.–4 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 map online. For anyone experiencing power outages, learn about PG&E’s hotel discounts (PDF) for extended outages.
  • For sewer problems, call West Bay Sanitary District at 650-321-0384.

Photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2023

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