Flood Protection

In the late 1800’s, Burlingame was known for its oak-clad rolling hills nestled between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Coastal Range with five distinct creeks or watersheds (El Portal/Trousdale, Mills, Easton, Sanchez/Terrace, and Burlingame/Ralston) that conveys storm water runoff from the hills to the bay.  These five creeks are critical to the protection of homes, businesses, and transportation networks from flooding.

Burlingame’s incorporation in 1908 resulted in the construction boom of homes and businesses that slowly altered the natural permeable terrain.  Over time the creeks have been altered, with some being covered by means of a culvert (pipe) under the roadway.  Therefore, our creeks are even more vital to the cities infrastructure to prevent flooding.  Some areas of the creek are maintained by the City, but the majority flow through private property and it’s the owners responsibility to keep the creeks clear of any obstructions and protect the natural embankment from erosion.

To find out if your property is in the Special Flood Hazard Area, visit FloodSmart.gov, and enter your address in the official site of the National Flood Insurance Program.   

The City continues its efforts today to minimize flooding in Burlingame with the construction of storm drain improvement projects outlined in the $39-million Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that was created with the resident approved storm drain fee in May 2009.

The CIP projects were defined by known problem areas within the City and were separated by the following categories. 

Easton Creek Watershed 
Mills Creek Watershed 
Burlingame Creek Watershed (Including Terrace Creek and Laguna Area) 
Sanchez Creek Watershed (Including Trousdale and Gilbreth Creek) 
Neighborhood Projects
Bridge and Storm Culverts 
Existing Pump Station Upgrades

The following projects are currently in design: 

  • New Rollins Road Pump Station and Pipeline 
  • Neighborhood Storm Drain Project #10
  • El Portal, Trousdale, and Gilbreth Creek Repairs