Photo credit to Ameya Nori

This image was taken on Saturday, December 31st, before M-A students returned from winter break.

M-A experienced significant flooding last week. It would’ve been easy for a passerby to confuse the entrance to the Performing Arts Center (PAC) for a small lake, as the area flooded completely. 

Both the rear and front parking lots were six-inches deep in water by mid-afternoon of the 31st. The Green was also completely waterlogged going into the night, many halls and paths were submerged in puddles. 

The City of Menlo Park issued a Flood Alert for the nearby San Francisquito Creek, a small river which runs adjacent to Sand Hill road. The creek swelled to record-high water levels, with high risks of flooding into surrounding areas and roads; mainly El Camino Real, Alma Street, Laurel Street and Middlefield Road.

San Francisquito Creek flooded on 1/4/23. Photo credit to John Donald.

Many parts of the Peninsula, including the M-A campus and surrounding areas were hit with an atmospheric river, or a concentrated area of moisture in the atmosphere on New Year’s Eve, causing heavy rainfall and flooding. As a result, many highways and main roads were closed and numerous areas lost power.

This atmospheric river was a part of the series of storms, called a “pineapple express,” as they brought moisture from tropical areas to the mainland, causing lots of rain and storms. ABC7’s Storm Impact Scale categorized this as a Level 2 storm with about an inch and a half of rainfall and expected  widespread power outages, flooding, and road closures.

Portions of Highway 101 and State Route 84 were also closed due to major flooding.

Forecasters from the National Weather Service predict that this rainfall and flooding will continue into this week, bringing a much “wetter and stronger” atmospheric storm into the region.

Ameya is a sophomore in his first year of journalism. He enjoys writing stories about sports, local news, and local politics. In his free time he enjoys playing and watching football.

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