City, Water District Approve Emergency Action Plan for Flooding in San Jose

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Both the San Jose City Council and the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors approved a joint, creek Emergency Action Plan Friday to be enacted during potential flooding along creeks and other waterways in San Jose.

The plan, approved during a joint meeting of the agencies Friday, outlines strategies and plans for agency coordination should a flood occur in the city. The plan comes after the Coyote Creek floods ravaged parts of the city in February and caused $73 million in damage to property.

“Over the past nine months, we’ve worked diligently to improve our disaster preparedness and response so that we can better protect our residents from flooding in the future,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in a statement.

Both the district and city shared elements of the plans with residents in the areas affected by the Coyote Creek floods in October during what the city called “Winter Storm Resource Fairs”. Those in attendance at those fairs were able to see sandbagging demonstrations, invited to vote on a preferred method of communication for notification of an emergency and sign-up for Santa Clara’s emergency alert system, AlertSCC.

“This is a critical step toward protecting our communities,” Water District Board Chair John L. Varela said in a statement. “Joining resources and ensuring clear knowledge and communication will help prevent what we saw last winter. We can’t control nature, but we can control how prepared we are.

The water district and the city have been working hard to establish clear protocols to help keep residents safe.”

Both agencies have been completing short-term water clearing projects over the summer, removing around 16 acres of invasive plant species to improve the creek’s natural habitat and potential obstructions near Old Oakland Road. In addition, the city is funding the water district’s removal of downed trees in important areas within the city.

In addition, the district is constructing two short-term flood barriers to help reduce the risk of flooding in the Rock Springs neighborhood and approved “new operating parameters” which will create more storage space at Anderson and Coyote reservoirs.

The city has also invested in three long-range acoustical devices that can be heard for 1 mile, heard through walls and driven through neighborhoods, and would be used to warn residents of emergencies.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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