Dozens res­cued from ris­ing wa­ters in San Jose neigh­bour­hood

Cape Breton Post - - CLASSIFIEDS/WORLD -

Res­cuers chest-deep in wa­ter steered boats car­ry­ing dozens of peo­ple, some with ba­bies and pets, from a San Jose neigh­bour­hood in­un­dated by wa­ter from an over­flow­ing creek Tues­day.

The res­cued res­i­dents had to be taken to dry land and rinsed with soap and wa­ter to pre­vent them from be­ing sick­ened by flood­wa­ters that had trav­elled through en­gine fuel, garbage, de­bris and over sewer lines, San Jose Fire Capt. Mitch Mat­low said. Only res­i­dents who could show they had been cleaned off were al­lowed to board buses to a shel­ter for those who were dis­placed by the flood­wa­ters.

“This is like once-in-a-life­time,’’ said Bobby Lee, 15, of the wa­ter around him. He was res­cued with his brother and par­ents, who took clothes, elec­tron­ics and some pho­tos from their home in the largely Latino and Viet­namese neigh­bour­hood.

Through­out the neigh­bour­hood, ve­hi­cles were sub­merged. Ear­lier Tues­day, fire­fight­ers res­cued five peo­ple stranded by flood­ing at a home­less camp along the same creek in San Jose.

Fire­fight­ers were go­ing doorto-door to alert res­i­dents be­cause the city does not have sirens or an­other emer­gency warn­ing sys­tem, San Jose spokesman David Voss­brink said.

“Any­body who is near the creek should be get­ting ready to leave,’’ he said.

In the San Joaquin Val­ley in Cal­i­for­nia’s agri­cul­tural heart­land, farm­ers used their trac­tors and other heavy equip­ment to help shore up an en­dan­gered levee along the San Joaquin River.

The rains were the lat­est pro­duced by a series of storms gen­er­ated by so-called at­mo­spheric rivers that dump mas­sive quan­ti­ties of Pa­cific Ocean wa­ter on Cal­i­for­nia af­ter car­ry­ing it aloft from as far away as Hawaii.

The rains have sat­u­rated the once-drought stricken re­gion but have cre­ated chaos for res­i­dents hit hard by the storms.

The lat­est down­pours swelled wa­ter­ways to flood lev­els and left about half the state un­der flood, wind and snow ad­vi­sories.

The storm sys­tem be­gan to weaken Tues­day af­ter dump­ing more than a half-inch of rain in the San Joaquin Val­ley, over an inch in San Francisco, and more than 5 inches in the moun­tains above Big Sur over the pre­vi­ous 24 hours, the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice re­ported.

Dry weather was ex­pected to re­turn to the re­gion on Wed­nes­day.

In San Jose, the fire depart­ment was called to Coy­ote Creek amid re­ports of as many as 40 peo­ple be­ing stranded at the home­less en­camp­ment.

That num­ber turned out to be in­ac­cu­rate and ev­ery­one was lo­cated, fire Capt. Mitch Mat­low said.

The con­di­tions of the five peo­ple res­cued were not im­me­di­ately avail­able.

Some farm­ers took their trac­tors and other equip­ment to the levee to help shore it up. They were there fill­ing it in within 30 min­utes of notic­ing the levee break, said al­falfa farmer Tony Coit.

“The farm­ers ran it like a boss,’’ said Coit, who de­scribed how they used soil from the levee it­self to fill in the 30-footwide break un­til they could truck in large rocks for a more sub­stan­tial re­pair.

“It’s very se­ri­ous,’’ county Sher­iff Brian Martin said of the po­ten­tial for flood­ing. “There’s go­ing to be wide­spread prop­erty dam­age ... our ground’s been sat­u­rated.’’

The Carmel River, which has flooded sev­eral times in the past month, and the Sali­nas River were also ex­pected to ap­proach flood lev­els.

In the Sierra Ne­vada moun­tain range, part of one of the main routes to Lake Ta­hoe was in dan­ger of col­laps­ing af­ter a road­way shoul­der gave way fol­low­ing heavy storms, leav­ing a gap­ing hole about 40 feet long and 17 feet wide, Cal­trans en­gi­neer Jar­rett Woodruff said.

Crews had one lane open Tues­day as Cal­trans work­ers tried to fix the road fail­ure af­ter nu­mer­ous mud­slides blocked the road for days at a time in re­cent weeks.

Heavy storms over the last two weeks made parts of the shoul­der and part of one lane on the four-lane high­way give way.

The wa­ter level rose at Lake Oroville for the first time since au­thor­i­ties or­dered an emer­gency evac­u­a­tion of 188,000 peo­ple more than a week ago af­ter a dam­aged spill­way caused ma­jor flood­ing con­cerns.

"1 1)050

Res­cuers travel by boat through a flooded neigh­bor­hood look­ing for stranded res­i­dents Tues­day, Feb. 21, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. Res­cuers chest-deep in wa­ter steered boats car­ry­ing dozens of peo­ple, some with ba­bies and pets, from a San Jose neigh­bor­hood in­un­dated by wa­ter from an over­flow­ing creek Tues­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.