VIDEO: San Jose declares shelter crisis amid devastating Coyote Creek flood

 

SAN JOSE (RKON) — There is still more fallout from the devastating flood last month along Coyote Creek in San Jose, as the city declared a shelter crisis.

The city-owned Seven Trees Community Center has served as the main refuge for flood victims since they were evacuated back on Feb. 21. What this crisis declaration does is clear the way for the facility to remain open until the end of May if necessary.

Elvie Gledoro, her husband, and her young daughter are among as many as 180 flood-impacted residents who have been staying in the Seven Trees shelter for the past three weeks.

It’s far from perfect, says Gledoro, but she says they have nowhere else to go right now.

“You have a better choice here than in the street,” Gledoro said. “They’re helping, we can see that. We have food. We have shelter. We have clothing. They’re really helping. It’s just that it’s still different than being in your own home.”

Gledoro’s Rock Springs apartment is among some 500 flood-impacted residences with restricted access, which means she can’t go home yet.

As such, the city must formally declare a shelter crisis, which is required by law, to keep the shelter open longer.

“We have a lot of residents that were displaced by the flood, some are temporarily out of their homes, some folks won’t be able to go back,” San Jose Division Manager Ray Bramson said. “We want to make sure we can transition everyone who doesn’t have a home back into a safe living environment.”

Asked about reports some of the evacuees are getting sick at the shelter, city officials say doctors are making regular visits.

A sign reminds people about the potential for tracking in contamination from the flood zone.

Gledoro says the close quarters are far from ideal.

“….Maybe it was the food, and I was just vomiting,” Gledoro said. “Headaches and flu-like symptoms, the same with my daughter, but we’re still here. We’re surviving.”

The shelter crisis declaration allows the city to bypass some housing regulations and is similar to what happens when the city makes community centers and libraries available as warming centers for the homeless during cold weather.

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