SAN JOSE (KRON) — The City of San Jose is still assessing the damage and looking for answers in the wake of last month’s flood along Coyote Creek.
The stage is set for a public vetting of what went wrong. We can still see the tell-tale X’s left by search and rescue teams on some of the homes in the hard-hit Rock Springs neighborhood.
The cleanup persists and so do the questions about what happened and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
On Thursday, we may get some answers.
“So this is where it started right here. It’s still raised up, and it was higher right to here” flood victim Reni Lobato said.
If only there had been a little more warning about the creek rising, Lobato and many other victims feel there would have been a lot less damage.
San Jose flooding
“And we just grabbed what I could. I put everything up, and grabbed also all my important papers, threw it in the car, and we had to leave,” Lobato said.
On Thursday afternoon, flood victims will have their chance to weigh in on how they’re doing as City Hall will convene a public hearing on why there wasn’t more warning.
Mayor Sam Liccardo says there will be two objectives to that hearing.
“One is we need to get all the information we have out to the public,” Liccardo said. “And this is the start of what will be a vetting of all that happened and we know plenty happened that was wrong and that we need to fix. Secondly, we’re constructing an action plan for what we’re going to do over the next week, the next month, next year to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
The state office of emergency services wrapped up a tour and assessment of the damage Wednesday, which has so far been pegged at $73 million.
After speaking to the San Jose rotary Wednesday afternoon, State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said there appears to be a good case for some type of financial help from the state.
“I’m sure that there will be a discussion some point during the budget negotiations,” de León said. “I know that there is a lot of pain and heartbreak here in San Jose and that is why I wanted to come here as well to see exactly what happened and to see how we as a state can help out.”
For Lobato, who will likely have to replace the floor in her mobile home, the help can’t arrive too soon.
“Oh, I’m sure that between the loss of the shed and damage under the house and everything, at least $3,000-to-$4,000,” Lobato said.
Flood victims, city and county officials and representatives of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, among others, are expected to attend that public hearing set for 3 p.m. Thursday in the council chambers at City Hall.