San Jose Flooding: 14000 Told to Evacuate


23 February, 2017

"Although the rain has largely stopped, flooding is continuing along Coyote Creek as reservoirs continue to spill and creek flow is extremely high", said Cheryl Wessling, a spokeswoman for the city's Emergency Operations Center, in an email early Wednesday.

Meteorologists placed part of the blame on atmospheric rivers - ribbons of water vapour extending thousands of miles from the tropics to the western US.

New mandatory evacuations were issued in San Jose as flooding continues to spread along Coyote Creek.

Santa Clara County's largest reservoir, the Anderson Reservoir, was inundated with waters on Sunday and Monday that eventually overran the artificial lake and poured into Coyote Creek, causing much of what has transpired in San Jose over the past 24 hours.

"They are being decontaminated because this is polluted water", San Jose fire Capt. Matt Low told reporters.

"As I sit here today and I look out at a neighborhood that's completely inundated with water. there's no question in my mind there was a failure of some kind", he said.

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Rock Springs resident Carmen Davalos told KGO-TV that she rushed to pack her minivan with keepsakes - like family photos - but she had to abandon her van to escape the rising water. ABC7 cameras were rolling when Nguyen's wife and son were rescued by fire officials. Red Cross overnight shelters are open at Evergreen Valley High School and James Lick High School. Closer to the reservoir, Coyote Creek spilled its banks, causing a flood that closed lanes on US 101.

"We've got all hands on deck right now", Liccardo said.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo acknowledged that municipal officials should have responded faster to the flood warnings and evacuated people sooner.

The nonprofit's South Bay office is located at 2731 N. First St., in San Jose. It was the first time the spillway had been active since 2006, and the rare sight brought spectators to Anderson County Park to catch a view and take selfies of the cascading waterfall created by the flowing runoff into Coyote Creek.

Because of seismic safety concerns, the reservoir is supposed to only be at 60 percent or so capacity.

Rescue crews waded through waist deep water to save those stranded at a homeless encampment along the Coyote Creek river, including two who were inside a tent on the third hole tee box. "They're trying to get out", said Nguyen.

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