San Jose begins flood damage clean-up in three neighborhoods


On Tuesday, Feb. 22, San Jose was hit by a devastating flood that led to the evacuation of hundreds of people in three communities, including the William and Rock Springs neighborhoods, said San Jose Fire Captain Darren Wallace.

The fire department is “facilitating the clean-up efforts,” Wallace said in an interview Saturday, providing affected residents with the help they need.

The flooding was a result of the heavy rainfalls in previous days and weeks, spreading from Coyote Creek, a 62-mile long stream that heads at the junction of East Fork Coyote Creek and Middle Fork Coyote Creek near Morgan Hill, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“People driving by would cause big waves, and they knocked parts of the fence in our front yard out. Then the water came flowing in, bringing a whole bunch of junk with it,” said Lee Greene, a Vietnam War veteran, standing in front of his damaged house in the William neighborhood.

By the end of the week, many of the temporarily evacuated residents were able to return to their homes, but the water left its permanent mark before subsiding.

“Everything we own has been wiped out. Everything. The only thing we have are the clothes on our backs,” said 37-year-old John Garcia outside his property near William Street Park.