Some San Jose Residents Return to Homes as Floodwaters Recede

With water levels from Coyote Creek receding late Wednesday, officials said some of the 14,000 evacuated residents would be allowed to return home, although an evacuation order remained for parts of the city.

San Jose city officials declared a local emergency Tuesday, while Mayor Sam Liccardo expressed frustration that the rescued residents - from almost 500 houses and apartments near Senter Road and Phelan Avenue - were caught by surprise. Morgan Hill City Manager Steve Rymer said at a recent council meeting that such a plan relies heavily on directing people out of town via USA 101, which is a Catch 22. Sandy Moll, whose house on South 16th Street near William Street Park flooded, said she had prepared for about a foot of water, but no more. Residents say the water was moving so quickly they had no time to prepare.

Tran said around 2 p.m. Tuesday, anticipated flooding prompted the lot manager to tell residents to move their cars to safer ground. "And we're not trying to point fingers here but some of the emails that they sent that morning were wrong".

Neighbourhoods in the 100-year flood zone and beyond drew mandatory evacuation orders. His wife and daughter were packing to leave, courtesy of a friend's lifted truck, as he watched the water rise outside his home in the neighborhood.

"They never told us whether we could come back or not".

"We are assessing what it is that led to that failure".

Gonzalez spent the night at her sister's house and said she was thankful for the wakeup call and evacuation. "These are people's lives at stake".

City officials will announce the location of the new shelters "well before Monday", Sykes said.

Flood warnings were in place until Saturday because waterways were overtaxed, and another storm was forecast Sunday. "Yeah, pretty fast. 15 minutes, the water go up to here, earlier it's only like four inch, 15 minutes later about a foot deep", said Dui Nguyen, a San Jose resident. "You don't know what's underneath the water, and you don't know what's inside it". "Is this a minor or major change in what we were expecting?" "Heightened awareness, in that if notifying or communicating to the neighborhoods is in the works, it may reach flood levels earlier than expected, too".

Mitch Matlow said, "This is not clean swimming pool water".

"So far, nothing", she said Thursday morning.

As they have tallied the damage, officials have offered some preliminary explanations for why Coyote Creek overflowed: The information they had on the capacity of the creek's channel was not accurate, and debris may have caused blockages. The normal tally for a non-drought year would be 23.7 inches.

In the Sierra Nevada mountain range, part of Highway 50, one of the main routes to Lake Tahoe, was in danger of collapsing after a roadway shoulder gave way following heavy storms, leaving a gaping hole about 40 feet long and 17 feet wide, Caltrans engineer Jarrett Woodruff said.

  • Leroy Wright