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Thousands return to California homes after flood, prep for more storms

26 February 2017

The mayor of San Jose acknowledged that the city failed to properly notify residents to evacuate during a flood emergency.

USGS officials said the force of the flooding water was so powerful that it even damaged or destroyed some of the agency's equipment on the creek bed, including bending a steel pole that had once served as a visual marker of the river height. "Yeah, I slept in the vehicle", Santos Aguilar told CNN affiliate KGO.

Firefighters were forced to rescue more than 225 residents by using watercraft as the streets filled up with 4 feet or more of water. "After Sunday", he said, "I don't know where they are going to go". I had a lot of my clothes down there from the winter that I like to store. "We've been letting out as much water as we possibly could", said Rachel Gibson, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara Valley Water Project, which operates the dam. I had all my baby's toys, all of his stuff down there", said Gabriela Martinez, a Rockspring resident "Early morning around nine, I move the auto.

"This is not about rain, this is about Anderson Dam", Liccardo said. "There seems to have been a unique breach of some sort, and obviously that's something we're going to be sorting out in the days ahead".

California is slowly recovering from five years of drought thanks to several months of unusually wet weather. This is not a flood we would typically anticipate.

By Saturday, the reservoir had reached its capacity and water began flowing down its spillway.

City officials are looking into why Coyote Creek couldn't handle the additional water.

"Although the rain has largely stopped, flooding is continuing along Coyote Creek as reservoirs continue to spill and creek flow is extremely high", said Cherly Wessling, a spokeswoman for the city's Emergency Operations Center, in an email early Wednesday morning. The creek hit a historic crest of 13.6 feet on Tuesday. This week's flood sent the creek rising to a height of 18.1 feet early Wednesday.

Officials are not now assessing the environmental implications of pumping fuel- and potentially sewage-contaminated water back into the creek, Sykes admitted. Drinking water is safe, officials said on an incident management website. Residents say the water was moving so quickly they had no time to prepare.

" '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". On Tuesday, water district crews also placed sandbags and sheeting on a levee along the southern end of the South Bay Mobile Home Park in an effort to prevent levee erosion.

The San Jose Fire Department advised a decontamination cleansing for those immersed in floodwaters to get rid of hazardous pollutants.

Residents watched helplessly as the murky water poured into their homes and one flood victim, Juanita Wilson saw her belongings starting to float around her apartment. "It's kind of like something you can't believe is happening, but it is happening".