Anderson Reservoir Runoff Triggers Spectacular Waterfall

MORGAN HILL (CBS SF) – While it has caused flooding and misery in San Jose, the run-off from the Anderson Reservoir has also created a magnificent waterfall with all the splendor and power of any in Yosemite National Park.

More than 14,000 homes were evacuated in San Jose on Tuesday as the run-off from the reservoir into Coyote Creek overwhelmed several neighborhoods.

Assistant City Manager Dave Sykes called the flooding “a 100-year event.”

He said while officials were monitoring conditions, they were surprised how quickly the Rock Springs neighborhood was inundated with up to 4 feet or more of water.

A helicopter flyover of the reservoir’s spillway Wednesday revealed just how powerful of a force the water had become.

Because of seismic safety concerns, the reservoir is supposed to only be at 60 percent or so capacity. It currently is at 104 percent. So the spillway values are wide open.

“We have an outlet at the base of that dam and that outlet has been opened fully 100 percent since Jan. 9,” said Santa Clara Valley Water District Emergency Operations Center PIO Rachel Gibson. “We have been letting out as much water as we practically could.”

The release has reached 420 cubic feet per second, Gibson said.

“As everyone knows we’ve been pummeled by a number of storms since January 9, so Anderson Reservoir was slowly filling up practically speaking because more water was coming into it than we could practically let out,” she said.

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