Valley Water completes flood protection project for Mountain View, Los Altos

By Director Gary Kremen, representative for District 7

For decades, homes and businesses along a 10-mile stretch of Permanente Creek in Los Altos and Mountain View have flooded during major storms. Permanente Creek experienced significant flooding on at least 11 occasions, most recently in 1998. Flooding results in millions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses and schools. 

This spring, Valley Water completed a project that will provide flood protection to those homes and businesses, potentially saving residents thousands of dollars on flood insurance each year.

In May, our agency reached the final milestone of the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project with the completion of two stormwater capture basins in Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve. The detention basins will capture and gradually release stormwater during a significant storm.

One of two stormwater capture basins built in Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve. The detention basins will capture and gradually release stormwater during a significant storm.

As part of the overall project, Valley Water also built new baseball fields at McKelvey Park that double as a place to contain floodwaters when Permanente Creek overflows. We also widened and deepened sections of Permanente and Hale creeks to improve the creeks’ capacity to carry stormwater safely.

To celebrate this achievement, Valley Water, Santa Clara County Parks, and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District invite you to a virtual ribbon-cutting event on June 4 at 10:30 a.m. Please join us as we thank park users and neighbors for their patience while building the last element of this critical flood protection project.

Zoom log-in: https://valleywater.zoom.us/j/87626641558

Call-in: 1 669 900 9128 

Webinar ID: 876 2664 1558

Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve will now benefit us all as a dual-purpose facility, providing flood protection and recreational space. Among the added project benefits are:

  • A new replacement parking lot with increased paved parking spaces
  • New restrooms, including Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant facilities
  • New equestrian parking stalls
  • Planting of over 200 native trees and plants
  • New trails
  • A new maintenance bridge

The project protects homes and businesses along Permanente Creek from the southwest shoreline of the San Francisco Bay, through Mountain View, to Foothill Expressway in Los Altos.

Once the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) updates the Flood Insurance Rate Maps for these areas, many of these property owners currently in the floodplain will no longer be required to carry flood insurance, putting that money back into property owners’ pockets.             

While Valley Water has completed the basin improvements, we still have some work to do in the future. Over the next three years, Valley Water will water and protect dozens of young trees and plants that were recently planted to make sure they are established. We will also be performing channel repair work in Permanente Creek downstream in Mountain View that is complementary to this project.

Our overall efforts along Permanente Creek are part of Valley Water’s commitment to keeping residents and businesses safe through our flood protection programs.

Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection special parcel tax approved by Santa Clara County voters in 2012, provided funding for the $93 million Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project.

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