Some San Jose flooding evacuees return home

Some of the 36,000 victims evacuated by the Coyote Creek flood can return to their homes, San Jose city officials said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Assistant city manager Dave Sykes said at the conference:

“That’s not to say that all homes and properties are out of the floodwaters.”

Some 14,000 people were made to evacuate from the mandatory evacuation areas as of this morning, including almost 500 families in the Rock Springs neighborhood, the East William Street corridor including Brookwood Terrace and parts of Naglee Park and three mobile home parks along Oakland Road.

Crews are working this evening to pump some of the floodwater back into the creek. Debris removal operations will start soon, Sykes said.

A map posted to the city website shows the areas south of East Santa Clara Street and west of South 23rd Street where homes have been cleared, Sykes said.

Those homes include those that have not had any flooding. Areas that have had flooding, which city spokesman David Vossbrink estimated to include fewer than 1,500 homes, are still under evacuation orders due to potentially contaminated water.

Drinking water is still clean throughout the city, according to the San Jose Water Company.

Crews are beginning the formal damage assessment process for reimbursement purposes and will continue to update the city website as streets reopen, Sykes said.

Those who need housing are being sheltered overnight at James Lick and Evergreen high schools, assistant fire Chief Robert Sapien said at the conference.

The evacuation center services at Mayfair and Shirakawa community centers are being discontinued this evening due to low traffic.

Temperatures are expected to drop as low as the 30s tonight, posing what Sapien called “a new challenge for us from a weather perspective.”

City officials are distributing a checklist for residents returning to flooded homes, which outlines protocol for flood insurance claims, electrical systems, food, furnishings and carpets, walls and appliances.

Those wishing to donate can access the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund on sjmayor.org, Liccardo said.