Blustery afternoon wind plus lots of rain in Menlo Park

by Linda Hubbard on March 21, 2023

InMenlo contributing photographer Robb Most captured this rain-soaked spring flower late this morning — before the wind picked up in the afternoon causing not only power outages but a tree to fall on a van near Alpine Road and La Cuesta, killing the driver.

As of 4:30 pm, there was an astonishing 1.46″ recorded by InMenlo weather watcher Dennis Nugent’s digital gauge since midnight, bringing the season-to-date to 35.05″.

At the same time, Atherton issued an alert that El Camino was closed in both directions between Watkins and Atherton Avenue.

The City of Menlo Park issued this alert:

The National Weather Service‘s Wind advisory remains in effect until 9:00 pm. Sustained southeast winds above 30 miles per hour, with gusts above 40 miles per hour, have caused widespread downed trees and tree branches. Some of these have sparked small fires and power outages.

Please exercise extreme caution anytime you encounter downed power lines and always assume they are energized and dangerous. Immediately call 9-1-1 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5002 to report these downed lines. Follow the downed power line safety tips. View the PG&E Outage Center map for the latest power outage updates.

Public Works crews are responding to over two dozen downed tree calls this afternoon and several blocked streets. Please check the Zonehaven map for the latest updates on street closures and traffic signal outages, and allow extra time if you must be out on the road. If you don’t have to be, please avoid driving during this time.

Crews are working to reopen streets and prioritizing based on life/safety needs, traffic flow (including near schools) and then other areas for debris removal. Please note, city crews cannot remove trees or debris where downed lines exist until PG&E has responded to remove the wires and deemed the area safe.

Menlo Park’s police officers, and its partners from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, are responding to numerous emergency calls related to downed wires, power line sparked fires and street obstructions. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless there is an imminent threat to life or other serious emergency.

Residents asked to report issues promptly to the City of Menlo Park

  • For fallen trees, blocked storm drains, flooding concerns, sink holes and landslides, 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 and gas leaks, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 and check their outage center maponline.

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.

Keep informed of changing conditions

Photos by Robb Most (c) 2023

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