VIDEO: San Jose water district building short-term flood wall near Coyote Creek amid upcoming storm

 

SAN JOSE (KRON) — Rain clouds on the horizon are giving a sense of urgency to some flood protection work underway in the South Bay.

A wall is going up along the banks of Coyote Creek to guard against a repeat of the disastrous flood that swamped the area last winter.

Earlier this year, the Rock Springs neighborhood was under 4 feet of water after Coyote Creek jumped its banks last February.

The first real rain of the season is not expected to cause any problems, but in the event of another atmospheric river-type situation later in the rainy season, Rock Springs will have a bit more protection against flooding.

Earth movers are building a kind of levee between Coyote Creek and the homes and apartment buildings that make up the low-lying Rock Springs neighborhood.

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Thousands of tons of earth are being turned into a 300-foot long berm from roughly Phelan Avenue south to Rock Springs Park.

“We were able to do this on a very short-term basis to get a temporary fix in place,” Santa Clara Valley Water District spokesman Marty Grimes said. “It doesn’t provide 100 percent protection against a 100-year flood-type situation, but it is an improvement over what we had last year.”

Rock Springs was flooded last February, when Coyote Creek chased hundreds of people from their homes, hundreds of which suffered major damage.

Fallen trees, invasive species, and other vegetation have been removed from the creek channel as well.

That and the new levee should help keep creek in check.

“There are two pieces to this, one is the earthen berm and the other is a vinyl wall that will protect all the homes and apartments along the creek as well as the park,” Grimes said.

The water district plans to release more from Anderson Reservoir this winter, ahead of big storms, which should also reduce the risk of flooding.

The levee and the wall are considered a short-term fix.

The water district and the city are at work on a much more ambitious long-term flood protection plan. But that could take years.

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So for now, this will have to do.

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