Seeking federal assistance for flood protection in San José

The Santa Clara Valley Water District announced last week it will ask for federal assistance to address, reduce, and prevent future flooding of the Coyote Creek area that impacted thousands of residents last week, damaging homes, property and valued personal belongings.

“We want to actively start the process of seeking assistance from our congressional leaders to help us convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to step in and work with us to take new measures to reduce or prevent this type of flooding in the future,” said Board Chair Varela.

“This month’s rains and the overflow of Coyote Creek impacted our entire community,” said Chair Varela. The water district is working with the City of San José and other agencies to assist those impacted by the flooding. “Our hearts go out to those impacted by this tragedy and we are doing everything in our power to find ways to prevent this from occurring in the future.”

Prior to this month’s flooding, flooding occurred in similar areas along Coyote Creek during storms that occurred 20 years ago, in 1997. At that time, the water district sought assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create flood control measures, but was turned down by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as it was determined that there was not a Federal interest.

“We firmly believe that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should partner with our agency and the City of San José to make this project a top priority in the wake of this most recent flooding event, so that we can collectively reduce or prevent this type of occurrence in the future”, said Chair Varela.

Chair Varela said the water district will be reaching out to local Congressmembers Zoe Lofgren and Ro Khanna to have them tour the impacted area and meet jointly with them and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to investigate and address flooding issues by examining flood risk reduction measures such as expanding the size of the channel, creating a bypass, building flood walls, or other potential measures.

The water district also plans to reach out to impacted residents and neighborhoods to seek input through public community meetings, and invite the City of San José to participate.

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