Floods In San Jose Push 14,000 People Out Of Their Homes

· Feb. 22, 2017, 10:17 pm

Flooding in San Jose, Calif., has prompted the evacuation of at least 14,000 residents.

The mandatory evacuation orders began overnight, and will remain in effect for at least another day, reports Peter Jon Shuler of member station KQED.

“Flooding along Coyote Creek came after a series of heavy rainstorms combined with water rushing down the spillway of nearby Anderson Reservoir, which is now filled to capacity,” he says. “Emergency crews had to rescue more than 250 people from their homes by boat.”

Now floodwaters are receding, but the danger isn’t over, authorities say.

“Crews are taking advantage of a break in the storms to assess the damage, and prepare for more rainy weather forecast for this weekend,” Shuler says.

In addition to the 14,000 mandatory evacuations, some 22,000 people were encouraged to leave their homes, The Associated Press says.

The AP also reports that some residents of San Jose had no idea that they needed to evacuate until firefighters went door to door alerting people. The city has acknowledged not all residents were properly notified, the wire service writes:

” ‘If the first time a resident is aware that they need to get out of their home is when they see a firefighter in a boat, that’s a failure,’ Mayor Sam Liccardo said at a news conference. ‘We are assessing what happened in that failure.’

“Liccardo declined to go into detail, saying there would be time for reflection after the emergency was over. …

“Assistant City Manager Dave Sykes said officials first became aware of the rising water late Tuesday when firefighters began evacuating about 400 people from a low-lying residential area.

“City officials did not believe the waters would spread to other neighborhoods and did not expand the evacuation orders.”

After a lengthy drought, some regions of California are struggling to cope with heavy rains and a series of powerful storms. So far this year there have been several mudslides and floods. Earlier this month, north of Sacramento, concerns that the Oroville dam would overflow prompted the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people.

This week, in San Jose, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service told the AP that water levels in Coyote Creek reached a 100-year peak.

At least four people across California died in storms this past week, the wire service says.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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