San Jose flood easing after thousands evacuated

Thousands were forced from their homes Tuesday night when Coyote Creek overflowed its banks. "I think right now we're just really focused on getting folks out of neighborhoods that are in peril", San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told reporters Tuesday.

Mass flooding pummeled San Jose, California, Tuesday, leaving residents swimming in the streets and cars floating down currents of rainwater.

Storms over the weekend caused the reservoir, the largest body owned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, to rise higher than 100 percent of its capacity by February 18, sending water over the spillway located to the northeast of the dam that overlooks Morgan Hill. These evacuations occurred as the creek reached a record 4 feet above flood stage, sending chest-high water through neighborhoods.

Where did all the water rushing into San Jose's neighborhoods come from?

Rock Springs resident Carmen Davalos told KGO-TV that she rushed to pack her minivan with keepsakes - like family photos - but she had to abandon her van to escape the rising water.

"It's ironic, for years there was a drought and we never dreamed of trying to keep water out of those reservoirs", Oravec said. Rescue crews are searching for additional missing people. Two high schools were converted into overnight shelters, with dry clothes, food and cots.

Several homeless people were rescued Monday from rising flood waters throughout the South Bay.

Alti Sharma said his parked vehicle was submerged by the floods.

The floodwaters also caused a miles long traffic jam, closing lanes of USA 101.

The nonprofit's South Bay office is located at 2731 N. First St., in San Jose.

"This is a once-in-a-100-year flood event", National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Gass was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times.

Communities in northern California are also bracing for flash floods for the first time in 20 years, after a surge of water was released from the Don Pedro Dam into the Tuolumne River.

Aside from 14,000 people whom officials said were placed under mandatory evacuation orders, with many taking up residence in emergency shelters, the city has issued a less severe evacuation advisory to 22,000 people, urging them to leave their homes as well.

Anderson Reservoir has been nearing capacity since early January.

The torrential rains in California have flooded 500 homes in San Jose, and some of those homes have horses.

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