Floods Force Hundreds Of San Jose Residents From Homes

Hoping everyone in the South Bay is ok. Heavy rainfall has caused a South San Jose neighborhood to flood, requiring residents to evacuate.

Via NBCBayArea

Crews in San Jose were busy Tuesday rescuing people and pets trapped in cars and homes swamped by rising flood waters along Coyote Creek.

Nearly 200 people and more than a dozen pets living in the Rock Springs neighborhood near Senter Road and Phelan Avenue were evacuated as rainfall-fueled runoff from the nearby Anderson Reservoir inundated low-lying and already saturated land with water.

Flood waters tall enough to cover cars and creep above front doors forced rescue teams to deploy boats and go door-to-door searching for stranded residents and motorists. Utilities were also immediately turned off.

"They said we had 10 minutes to pack the things we wanted to bring," said 10-year-old Jaycey Manuel, who threw some clothes into a backpack and rode with neighbors to higher ground.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo visited the scene, and said, "We've had very serious flooding. We've got several feet of water that has inundated cars and an entire story of homes."

An estimated 500 households, which include roughly 60 multi-unit apartment complexes, were impacted by the rising water, according to Sam Liccardo.

"We've got all hands on deck right now," Liccardo said. "Everybody in this city is working hard to do whatever we can to safeguard our residents."

The mayor late Tuesday announced the city was expanding the mandatory evacuation order to nearly all residents east of Coyote Creek, but west of Highway 101. The evacuation order does not include the Bonita neighborhood, Liccardo said.

Earlier in the day, five homeless people were rescued from the nearby Los Lagos Golf Course after swift-moving water surrounded their encampments.

"We knew we would have flooding in San Jose. We did not know how bad it was," the city's fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.

City officials on Tuesday declared a local emergency in response to the dangerous flooding. A mandatory evacuation order was implemented in the Rock Springs neighborhood, Liccardo said. A voluntary evacuation order was issued for those residents living along low-lying areas of Coyote Creek between Capitol Expressway and Interstate 880.

Matlow said the situation at hand is unlike anything he's ever seen during his 35 years of working in Santa Clara County.

"This is the worst flooding and water rescue situation that I have personally participated in," he said. "I was involved in the (1982-1983) flooding that we had that was mostly in downtown and in Alviso, but I don't recall us having to pull this many people out by boat."

Rain is tapering off in the area, but a flood warning for central Santa Clara County will remain in effect until further notice. Residents in the area are being advised to grab their belongings and leave their homes until the water level subsides.

An overnight evacuation center has been set up at James Lick High School at 57 N. White Road in San Jose, according to city officials. Two other temporary evacuation centers have been opened at the Mayfair Community Center on Kammerer Avenue and Shirakawa Community Center on Lucretia Avenue.

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