By Board Chair Tony Estremera and Directors Barbara Keegan and Richard P. Santos
Although Santa Clara County is currently in an extreme drought emergency, we can’t predict how much rain we’ll receive next winter. As we contend with climate change, we know more severe weather can occur, including more intense storms and increased flood potential.
Valley Water is continuing our work on projects aimed at reducing the risk of flooding in neighborhoods along Coyote Creek in San José. Two such projects are the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project and the Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project. The projects extend for nine miles in historically flood-prone areas and seek to protect residential, commercial, and industrial areas and major roads and highways from floods.
Both projects are connected to our work to strengthen Anderson Dam in Morgan Hill. Our objective is to reduce the risk of flooding to homes, schools, businesses, and highways in the Coyote Creek floodplain up to the level that occurred on Feb. 21, 2017, which was approximately a 20-year flood event.
Valley Water is hosting a meeting on July 22 at 6 p.m. to update neighbors and our communities on this critical flood protection project. We will provide information on the progress of these projects, current efforts and next steps.
Neighbors and community members can join the meeting virtually or in person.
To attend the meeting virtually, please visit: https://valleywater.zoom.us/j/85683033092
Dial: +1 669 900 9128
Webinar ID: 856 8303 3092
The location to attend the meeting in person is the Valley Water Headquarters Boardroom at 5700 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, CA 95118.
We are recording the meeting and will post it to the project’s website along with the meeting presentation at valleywater.org/coyote-creek.
Both projects are currently in the design phase. Valley Water experts are actively gathering and evaluating critical data and we have hired a consultant to complete designing the project elements that best help reduce flood risk to the community.
Since 2017, Valley Water has implemented several short-term projects to reduce the risk of flooding along Coyote Creek. We have installed an interim floodwall and berm along the creek in the Rock Springs community, repaired a 150-foot levee adjacent to the South Bay Mobile Home Park, and installed flood gauges to provide real-time flood information at several points along Coyote Creek.
The Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project is receiving funding from the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2012 and 2020.
Valley Water has held more than 12 community meetings as we move ahead with the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project’s many complex aspects. Following this meeting in July, we will be holding another round of public meetings later this year in specific areas of the community near the creek.
Collaborating with residents, business owners and community leaders is a critically important piece of how we will make this flood-risk reduction project happen. We appreciate everyone who has attended previous meetings and provided input, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.