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By Terri Moore                                Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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Monday, December 24, 2012            
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City, county and state officials joined forces Monday to strengthen a levee that was damaged by several days of storms. The levee was breeched Sunday evening about 8 p.m., when floodwaters from the San Francisquito Creek, located near University and Woodland Avenues, spilled out of the creek along Daphine Way and Verbena Drive in East Palo Alto.

The Menlo Park Fire Protection District evacuated seven homes adjacent to the creek Sunday evening. Approximately 35 to 45 individuals found temporary housing at a Red Cross Shelter, which was established at the East Palo Alto Family YMCA, located in East Palo Alto at 550 Bell Street.

Several hundred other residents, near the affected area, also chose to evacuate and, presumably, spent the night with family and friends. Most evacuated residents returned to their homes Monday.

Brent Butler, East Palo Alto's city planning manager, issued a call Monday afternoon for volunteers, who would work along the levee to fill sand bags in the to help reduce the risk of flooding.

East Palo Alto's Mayor Ruben Abrica said, “We are working closely with Menlo Fire District, County and State Government to immediately strengthen the levee and ensure the safety of our residents.”

For the most part, the damage from the breeched levee was minimal, except for one house that was said to be severely damaged.

More rain is expected to hit the area on Christmas Day and last for several days. See the National Weather Service forecast here. Once the breeched levee is shored up, it is expected to stay stable through the rainy season.

Construction to prevent similar creek overflows is expected to begin in 2013.
Residents, who are interested in the status of the levee or those who would like to volunteer to fill sand bags can call (650) 853-3189 for more information. They can also monitor local creek levels at http://www.city.palo-alto.ca.us/gov/depts/pwd/creek_monitor/default.asp


To contact the author of this article, Terri Moore, send an email to epatoday@epatoday.org.