San Jose residents question emergency response to floods, evacuations

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Many residents, now stranded since the city of San Jose ordered mandatory evacuations in the flood zone, are asking if the city did enough to warn residents. (KGO-TV )

Many residents, now stranded since the city of San Jose ordered mandatory evacuations in the flood zone, are asking if the city did enough to warn residents.

Wednesday night, many flood victims were dreading what awaits them once they are able to return home.


The water levels have barely budged from its high point in the Rocksprings neighborhood, where hundreds were evacuated by boat Tuesday.

RESOURCES: San Jose flood evacuation centers and help info

Resident Kelvin Paule's says his brand new Corolla is submerged in front of his apartment building, and he's still waiting to hear back from his insurance company.

The Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, updated residents on the situation Wednesday.



"We're going to insist on continuing the evacuation period through today until we have a better handle on what's happening with these water flows," said Liccardo.

The Mayor says the city's emergency operation center was open days before the flood, but residents claim they never knew the flood was coming.

Click here to see a map of emergencies in the area.

"If the first time that a resident is aware that they need to get out of a home is when they see a firefighter and a boat, then clearly there's been a failure," said Liccardo.

The emergency operations chief says Coyote Creek wasn't expected to overflow.

MORE: Resources from the Red Cross

"A breach of that creek happened at a flow level much below the capacity of the channel so that's the issue that we need to investigate," said Dave Sykes, the San Jose Emergency Operations Director.



San Jose is dealing with flooding in three parts of the city. The water is starting to recede along East William St.

"We think that Rocksprings will be a longer time in terms of water receding, and then there's a few buildings that we're going to take a close look at to see if they can be occupied at all in the short term," said Asst. Chief Robert Sapien, with the San Jose Fire Department.

Rob Souza's house sits next to the creek and his basement is flooded, but he's not pointing any fingers.



"I don't want to blame anybody but I think everybody collectively did the best that they could. But when the water starts to rise, it's time to get out," said Souza.

PHOTOS: Residents rescued from at least 30 flooded homes in San Jose
Click here for sandbag pick up locations in San Jose.

Related Topics:
weatherfloodingflash floodingstorm damagestormapartments evacuatedevacuation
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