San Jose Rain, Warning Leaves Residents Swimming In Streets

Raul Aladorre measures the water depth on Brookwood as the swollen Coyote Creek floods the street near his home on 22nd Street in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. "Right now, we've got to do whatever we can to get people out".

Mandatory evacuations were underway Tuesday in parts of San Jose, California, due to an apparent breach of a creek, Mayor Sam Liccardo told reporters. The heavy rainfall has filled Anderson Reservoir to capacity, causing water to rush down the dam's spillway. Rescue workers sought to save residents as they waded through chest-deep water.

Rock Springs resident Carmen Davalos told KGO-TV that she rushed to pack her minivan with keepsakes - like family photos - but she had to abandon her van to escape the rising water. 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 vehicle.

As of 9 p.m., more than 220 residents had been rescued by boat, Liccardo said on Twitter.

Authorities went door-to-door overnight ordering thousands of residents to leave their homes for safety as streams and reservoirs overflowed.

The trash-strewn floodwaters inundated whole city blocks, submerging parked cars and lapping at the walls of apartments and townhouses, as firefighters in inflatable boats ferried stranded residents to dry ground.

More news: US tourists, Australian pilot killed in plane crash near Melbourne

The floodwaters also caused a miles long traffic jam, closing lanes of US 101.

Water has been cascading down the Anderson reservoir spillway filling Coyote Creek to overflowing.

The National Weather Service reported that as of Monday, downtown San Francisco had surpassed its normal rain total for an entire water year — October to September — with an accumulated 25 inches having fallen so far. "There were cops saying that we had to evacuate", Cindy Salas said.

"If this was a North Bay valley location, or an area used to flooding, they're more in tune to watching these events".

In addition to the mandatory evacuation zone in San Jose, which at its largest is 1.5 miles long and one mile wide, there is also a voluntary evacuation zone which covers a seven mile stretch along Coyote Creek. Earlier this month, north of Sacramento, concerns that the Oroville dam would overflow prompted the evacuation of almost 200,000 people. "They're trying to get out", said Nguyen.

  • Alfonso Moody