The last time major flooding happened in San Jose, approx 20 years ago, the City was on top of it. Fire trucks pumping water in low areas, sand bag stations, warnings days in advance. This time, absolutely nothing from the City, other then reaction after the fact.
The water got close
The above picture shows the green of the 15 hole of the golf course by our home.
Below the boat, and approx 20 feet to the left, is the Golf cart path (under water, we use to walk our dogs 🙂 To the right in this photo, on the other side of the green, is our house and many others.
When a big release of water from Anderson Dam happens, our small little creek, that normally has an inch or two of water, and is maybe 8-12 inch wide, turns into a massive 30 foot wide, full force, death trap stream that becomes 9-10 feet deep at flood stage.
Flooding hasn’t been a problem in our area along the creek. The Golf course has saved us two times because the water level would need to reach approx 15 feet to cross the Golf course.
With the latest massive release of water from Anderson, I’d say the water level in this picture is approx 13 maybe 14 feet deep. Well past flood stage and the second highest level I’ve seen in 30 years.
Of course, some streets and homes along the creek will flood when the water level is above 9 feet. This is why flooded streets, with flooded cars and houses made the national news.
Sadly, this issue was man made and could have been prevented
Anderson Dam knows how much water and run off is expected from storms. They know how much water can be released without causing flooding. Both Anderson Dam and the City know days in advance when a spill way will be active due to rising lake water levels. And, the City and Anderson Dam well know when and what areas in San Jose will flood at what water level. The water level is higher then anyone wants.
The City is normally warned by Anderson Dam days in advance when the dam spill way will be used due to rising water levels in the lake. If flooding was possible, the City would then warn people in impacted areas to allow as much time as possible for people to secure property and safely leave the area.
For unknown reasons, the City did not warn people of possible flooding. The lack of preemptive actions placed people and property in low areas of San Jose at unnecessary risk. Cars were not moved, people and belongings remained in their homes .vs seeking the safety of higher ground.