California creates Valley Water Flood Control Project
COYOTE CREEK, Calif. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Valley Water's Flood Control Project is designed specifically to prevent flooding in the Coyote Creek community.
This is the wake of the catastrophic flooding of San Jose's Rock Springs neighborhood in 2017. Back then, Hien Nguyen, a Rock Springs resident, found herself trapped by the rapidly rising floodwaters.
"The water rose up very fast...Total loss. It was a total loss because we live on the first floor," Nguyen described.
Nguyen says it's taken her and her neighbors years to recover. It's something she hopes never to experience again, and if Valley Water's $115 million project works as promised, she shouldn't have to.
"The main goal of the project is to protect the homes and the businesses that are around Coyote Creek...to make sure that we can protect for the flooding that we saw in 2017 in San Jose," said Matt Keller, spokesperson for the Valley Water District.
Installing flood walls and levees
2017, much like this year, was an exceptionally wet winter. Anderson Reservoir filled and then spilled over for the first time in years, and as impressive as the images were, they spelled trouble for communities downstream.
"The water rose up and I live next to the big sewer line. It stunk very bad," Nguyen detailed.
For the next year and a half, Valley Water will be installing flood walls and levees along a ten-mile stretch of the creek, protecting low-lying and often low-income neighborhoods nearby.
"With the weather extremes that we're experiencing, we have to adapt to the possibility of these extreme weather events," Keller spoke.
Hien has lived in the Rock Springs neighborhood for 23 years. It is her home, and she hopes, by virtue of this project, it will be less vulnerable than it was before.
"I hope this means the flood won't come back again. Because we already suffered with the tragedy," Nguyen added.