As of 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Feb. 22, Santa Clara Valley Water District crews had completed temporary repairs on the Coyote Canal north of Cochrane Road. With this repair, water in the canal is no longer flooding U.S. 101 at this location.
As flows in Coyote Creek increased on Monday and Tuesday from the powerful atmospheric river that pummelled Santa Clara County over the past several days, creek water began flowing into the Coyote Canal. Subsequently, water flowing in the canal broke out on Tuesday morning and flowed onto U.S. 101 about a quarter mile north of Cochrane Road, flooding the freeway for most of the day.
District crews were mobilized to breach the canal at a location upstream so that water would be diverted back to Coyote Creek rather than over the freeway. In addition, crews created a temporary dam at the point the canal was first breached to prevent water from flowing further down the canal. Approximately 2,000 tons of material was trucked to the site and used for the repair.
Coyote Canal was constructed by the Santa Clara County Water Conservation District, the precursor agency of Santa Clara Valley Water District, in the early 20th century to convey water from Coyote Creek for groundwater recharge. It runs along the hillside east of U.S. 101 toward groundwater recharge ponds near Metcalf Road. This canal is not currently utilized since the water district constructed a pipeline to convey water across the valley.
On Tuesday, water district crews also placed sandbags and sheeting on a levee along the southern end of the South Bay Mobile Home Park in an effort to prevent levee erosion.
The water district’s Emergency Operations Center has been open continuously since Monday morning. Hydrology staff continue to monitor streamflows and provide stream forecast information to other agencies.
Flows peaked over the spillway at Anderson Reservoir at approximately 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The Edenvale gauge on Coyote Creek peaked around 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Flows in Coyote Creek peaked at the East William Street in San Jose at 8:36 p.m. on Tuesday night at 7,500 cubic feet per second.