By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — There is a new plan to protect one of the neighborhoods that was hit hardest by the Coyote Creek flooding in San Jose this winter.

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Valley Water District will consider extending floodwalls and levees a few miles upstream, all the way to Tully Road.

There have been longe-range plans to do something to protect the neighborhood, but those plans were also considered too big, too expensive and nobody knew where all that money was going to come from.

But this new ties into an existing parcel tax. Officials say it could be completed within the next couple years.

But some neighbors are not convinced they will be protected from the next big storm.

Rockspring has signs of a neighborhood comeback, but four months after the floods, there are still many signs of the on-going struggle.

And so it’s no surprise that plans to protect the neighborhood from future floods are met with skepticism.

Kathy Tran said, “We appreciate about that, but just wait and see if it is effective or not.”

Tran manages a four-plex building and her tenants have not yet returned. Her credit cards are maxed out and she estimates the floods cost her $100,000.

She says flood control was needed there long ago.

“They needed to pay more attention to the people. More than just on paper,” Tran said.

The low-lying neighborhood was under about four feet of polluted water when Coyote Creek spilled over its banks in February.

Hundreds were evacuated, many by boat.

John Varela, chairman of the Valley Water District said, “If we do not repair this creek, it will flood again.” He said they are taking every mearure possible to find a solution.

Varela says the water district will consider plans at its Tuesday meeting to extend flood protection from Montague Expressway to Tully Road, a six mile stretch that would include the Rockspring neighborhood for the first time.

It could be a combination of floodwalls, levees and/or vegetation removal designed to protect the area from the kind of floods that happen about every 25 years.

“We were on national television… the world saw what was happening in San Jose. So we want to expedite this,” Varela said. “The main concern at this point from the board of directors is to find a solution, a workable solution, that will minimize or eliminate flooding in that portion of San Jose.”

Tuesday’s 1 p.m. meeting will include approval of the initial $600,000 to begin the study and begin work.

But it will take a lot more resources to ensure the neighborhood doesn’t get flooded by the next big storm.

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