Girl, don’t they warn ya?

It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya?
It pours, man, it pours

– (c)1972 Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood

Lately this song has been running through my head a lot, although, to be honest, most of our recent troubles were due to high winds, I suppose in conjunction with saturated soils. Whatever, I’m definitely ready for things to lighten up, and to be able to enjoy more days like today (Friday). It was a delight to be able to be outside, checking in on a number of Redwood City projects and pausing from time-to-time to soak up some sun.

Having started off talking about our area’s recent weather, I have to make a confession: I pretty much missed all of the excitement. My wife and I left town last Saturday for a long-planned trip to, in part, spend time with our newest grandchild, who is just over four months old. Although we were in the Pacific Northwest (those kids live in Vancouver, WA) and experienced our share of rain, the Bay Area received more rain than the Pacific Northwest seemed to. (My backyard weather station measured a total of 2.5 inches of rain while we were gone, nearly all of which apparently fell the day after we left.) Where we were, we felt no indication of the howling winds that plagued the Bay Area early this week. We also rather neatly missed the power outage: power went out at my home on Tuesday between 2 and 3 p.m., and was restored around 10 a.m. on Thursday, just seven hours before we flew back into SFO. Upon our return I was relieved to note that our house and trees got through our weather event unscathed, but was saddened to see the number of trees that had fallen elsewhere in Redwood City. Thankfully I was able to see much of the damage thanks to pictures sent to me by friends, as well as thanks to local publications such as The Daily Journal and RWC Pulse. Perhaps most impressive (from what I saw) was the tree that fell on Brewster (thanks to a friend for this particular image):

I had hoped to be able to take pictures of some of the damage here, but by Friday, when I was able to get out and do so, a great deal of the damage had already been cleaned up (the large tree that fell on Brewster Avenue was still there, though, as well as at least one tree that fell on the Sequoia High campus).

One thing I did find myself wondering about is the tower crane being used at the ELCO Yards project just off Main Street; I just had to see how well it weathered the storm. In short, the answer seems to be “just fine”:

I do wish I had been here to see if they did anything other than put the crane into the position you see above, which I presume was done to minimize the torque it must have experienced from the winds blowing against the crane’s very long arm. If that arm had been in its normal, horizontal position, I could imagine that crane being twisted right off of its heavy concrete base. As it is, though, it seems to be OK.

FYI, there appears to be more weather in store for us next week, but nothing at all like what we’ve experienced recently. It appears that we’ll get a small amount of rain on Sunday, and a little over an inch (total) on Tuesday into early Wednesday morning. As for wind, we’ll have some throughout the day on Tuesday, but nothing like what the area experienced earlier this week. And in the longer term, things are looking better — at least, if you can live with the unseasonably cold (with highs not getting above the mid-50’s) temperatures we’ll apparently have for the next 10 days or so. Personally, as long as our power stays on, I can live with those temperatures. I’ll just bundle up, and get out whenever there is a large enough gap between the (relatively small) storms.

This week, I was pleased to note that work on a number of our local projects continued throughout our wild weather week. For instance, I dropped by the site of the Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center project, off Madison Avenue in Red Morton Park, and saw that the insulation for the exterior walls is rapidly being put into place:

Soon the exterior surfaces will be applied, and the building will start to really look like the finished product — although work on the building’s interior will take quite a while yet, so don’t get too excited.

Over on Center Street, I checked in on the seven-unit townhouse project being built at Center and Linden streets. That project continues to zoom along: windows are going in, which means that this project, too, is soon to get its exterior finishes:

I next spent a bunch of time over at the Broadway Plaza project. I was interested to note that the construction fences have been moved much closer to the old CVS, and that a lot more of the property is now experiencing active development. For instance, the portion of the parcel along Woodside Road, which for a while now had been reopened as additional parking (not that it was needed) is now fenced off, and work of some sort is going on there:

Of course, the Chestnut Street end, where work has been going on now for quite some time, continues to be where the majority of the work is taking place:

Some time ago a handful of drilling rigs began making their way around that end of the property. I believe they began near the corner of Chestnut Street and Bay Road, and worked their way along the edge of the property by Chestnut Street. Then, when they got to Broadway, they followed that street down towards the Jack in the Box (which, along with the Denny’s restaurant, is still in business; both are not part of this project).

Until recently there used to be two entrances off Broadway into the parking lot in front of the CVS. Now, however, the fences have been shifted much closer to the CVS building, and the entrance that used to be mid-block off Broadway is no more. To get to the now-smaller CVS parking lot now you either have to use the entrance next to the Jack-in-the-Box, or you have to come in by the building’s rear, off Bay Road.

As for the new CVS being built just across Woodside Road (at Bay Road), it continues to make slow but steady progress:

I continue to marvel at just how much nicer this new CVS will be when compared with the old one. The building’s very high ceilings and the upper row of windows are going to make the store feel much more open and airy, and natural light will flood the space. Unlike what we have today…

Personally, I can’t wait to be able to patronize this new store, which should be significantly nicer than both the one in Broadway Plaza and the one in Sequoia Station. Oh, and our new CVS will have a drive-through, which is a welcome feature that the existing stores lack.

I also went by the county’s Navigation Center project, but in the main much hasn’t changed there, at least based on what one can see from my vantage points beyond the construction fences. Much of the work there seems focused on fencing and landscaping (plus stairs and exterior walkways on the multi-story buildings); I’m going to give that project another week or two and will report back when things seem more polished (which should be very soon; that project is scheduled to be ready for occupancy by the end of this month). I did note that the next-door parcel, where the 1548 Maple Street townhouse development will be built, has been cleaned up. Apparently, much of the equipment that has been on that parcel for some time now was in service of the Navigation Center project, and is now no longer needed. Today that site is largely clean and level, and likely waiting for the extension to Blomquist Street — which appears complete — to be opened to the public. At that point, the temporary road that currently bisects that parcel and provides access to the LifeMoves Maple Street Shelter can be closed, since the “Blomquist Extension” goes right to the shelter. Once the temporary road is closed off, the developer of the 1548 Maple Street project will have unfettered access to their entire parcel, and will be free to start that particular project whenever they like.

Enjoy the sunshine while we have it! I certainly plan to keep a close eye on the weather, and will be getting in as many walks in the next couple of weeks as I can. Not only do I need the exercise, I need the mental stimulation that getting out into the world brings. Here’s hoping we have less “man, it pours” and more “it never rains in California” until, say, next October, when our next rainy season starts.

Redwood City’s next cleanup day is scheduled for Saturday, April 15. The city’s Pride and Beautification Committee is asking community members to “show their pride in Redwood City by volunteering” to help out on that day. I’ve volunteered in the past, and had a great time doing so. I’m planning to help out again this year; to join me, contact Diane Howard at

2 thoughts on “Girl, don’t they warn ya?

  1. I recently had an email conversation with one of the development folks at LifeMoves and she mentioned a client move-in date towards the end of April. I think they had to revise the date because of storm-related construction delays. I too am looking forward to seeing it when it’s done.

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