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Statement from Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Chair John Varela regarding storm impacts and how you can assist those in need

Feb. 23, 2017

Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those who are suffering as a result of damage to their homes, valuables and property. We have been receiving many questions after the tragic events which occurred in San Jose and I wanted to quickly share with our neighbors our response to the most frequently asked question, why didn't the community have more notice?

To clarify information which you may have recently heard, on Monday night 2/20, as the gauges indicated the flows coming over the Anderson spillway were rising and would reach spill levels faster than initially expected, Water District staff adjusted the Anderson spillway flow estimates and the potential for how much water would flow through to the various downstream locations, including the Rock Springs area which experienced the worst flooding. That critical information, along with our concern that the Rock Springs area would likely experience very high flows by 6-7am on Tuesday was communicated to City of San Jose staff at 2:47am., Tuesday, 2/21, so that the community could be warned by the City. In addition, San Jose staff present at the District’s Emergency Operations Center were also made aware of this updated information as the situation developed.

I hope that during our post-evaluation of what ultimately resulted in these unfortunate events, we can find an effective path for all agencies to come together, better prepare, and respond to any future events - I think as public agencies we can all find a better path for the future.

As we keep in mind those who are suffering and trying to recover from these floods, I want to encourage you to give financial help to the victims of this tragic incident. I encourage you to go to Mayor Liccardo's website at www.sanjoseca.gov/mayor and make a donation for those who are less fortunate and could use the help right now.

Sincerely,

John L. Varela
Chair / Board of Directors