Water from Anderson Reservoir to blame for San Jose flooding
- Creeks and rivers topped their banks, hundreds of homes were evacuated and several thousand people found themselves trapped in a rural hamlet as Northern California emerged Tuesday from yet another winter storm. "We have been letting out as much water as we practically could".
According to the Santa Clarita Valley Water District website, preliminary readings indicated the reservoir was at 105.5% of capacity on Tuesday afternoon and the water level was nearly 4 feet above the top of a spillway.
Authorities had to go door-to-door warning residents after the reservoirs overflowed sending chest deep waters in to neighborhoods.
"As I sit here today and look at a neighborhood that is completely inundated with water where we have fire crews doing whatever they can to get people out, there's no question in my mind there was a failure of some kind", San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said at a news conference. According to Liccardo, an estimated 500 households, which include roughly 60 multi-unit apartment complexes, were impacted by the rising water.
Andy Seoung was among the residents rescued by fire crews.
By nightfall, television cameras recorded water pouring through holes in a wall of a mobile home park, where rising floodwaters had already forced residents to leave.
Overnight, flood victims gathered at James Lick High School at 57 N. White Rd and Evergreen Valley High School at 3300 Quimby Rd.
Later in the day the water was up to the windows of cars parked in the street.
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The floodwaters also caused a miles long traffic jam, closing lanes of US 101.
A series of storms in the South Bay, combined with runoff from nearby hills and water spilling from the Anderson Reservoir has overwhelmed Coyote Creek, triggering a swift-moving torrent of water to flow right through the golf course.
More than 2 inches of rain had fallen in San Jose in the past 48 hours, the National Weather Service said.
An estimated 225 people were pulled from their homes in boats while thousands of other residents in the city's flood zone were ordered to evacuate.
But the flooding continued upstream, with the biggest impacts in neighborhoods in south San Jose.
Because of seismic safety concerns, the reservoir is supposed to only be at 60 percent or so capacity.
Gass said one reason the flooding may have caught so many people off guard is that flooding is rare along Coyote Creek in San Jose.
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