Lake Cunningham flood protection project completed

Thousands of homes and businesses now protected from a 100-year flood event

San Jose, CA. Nov. 20, 2019.- Valley Water Director John L. Varela, District 1, was joined by community members, elected officials, including San Jose Councilmember Sylvia Arenas, and project team members today to mark the completion of the Cunningham Flood Detention Facility Project, with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lake Cunningham Regional Park.

“The Cunningham Flood Detention Facility Project is part of Valley Water’s commitment to keeping residents and businesses safe through its flood protection efforts, “said Director Varela, “this was an effort that had many hands and partners. I want to thank the City of San Jose, United States Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Water Resources for their roles in this project”.

This project is funded in part by Valley Water’s Watershed and Stream Stewardship Fund and by grants from the California Department of Water Resources and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“This project helps thousands of families stay safe from the threat of flooding and the daily reality of high-cost flood insurance. Thousands of Evergreen and East Side families are safer and better off for this work,” said San Jose Councilmember Sylvia Arenas.

Lake Cunningham Regional Park serves as a detention area by storing water within the park during a storm to help prevent flooding downstream of the area. To meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) certification requirements, an existing levee was raised by up to four feet along Capitol Expressway and Cunningham Avenue. A floodwall ranging from one to four feet high was constructed along Cunningham Avenue and Flint Creek.

These project improvements, in combination with the completed Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project improvements, will protect approximately 3,800 properties from a 100-year flood event.

For more information about the project, visit

Pictured above: (Left to Right) Jonathan Perez, representing State Senator Jim Beall, District 15; Melanie Richardson, Valley Water COO; Valley Water Director John L. Varela; City of San Jose Councilmember Sylvia Arenas, District 8; Karl Neuman, Valley Water Project Manager.

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