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Cunningham Flood Detention Project

Cunningham Flood Detention Project Community Meeting (PDF) Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, 6:30-8 p.m.
East Valley YMCA, 1975 South White Road, San Jose 95148


Project background

The Cunningham Flood Detention Project is located in Lake Cunningham Park which was developed in cooperation with the city of San Jose in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a joint recreational-flood detention facility. Today, the park site encompasses the city’s park and recreational facilities including Lake Cunningham and Raging Waters, Lower Silver Creek from Cunningham Avenue to Tully Road, and Flint and Ruby creeks from Cunningham Avenue to White Road.

The Cunningham Flood Detention Project is located in Lake Cunningham Park which was developed in cooperation with the city of San Jose in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a joint recreational-flood detention facility. Today, the park site encompasses the city’s park and recreational facilities including Lake Cunningham and Raging Waters, Lower Silver Creek from Cunningham Avenue to Tully Road, and Flint and Ruby creeks from Cunningham Avenue to White Road.

The park is intended to act as a detention area and provide temporary storage of storm flows within the park site. A 100-year storm event would flood most of the park very rarely and take approximately five days to drain out. The definition of a 100-year storm event is an event that has the likelihood of occurring once every 100 years according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Cunningham Flood Detention Facility is located in the Lower Silver Creek Watershed, which is itself a sub-basin of the Coyote Watershed. Nearly half of the Lower Silver Creek Watershed drains to the park, which then flows into Lower Silver Creek located to the north of the park. In its entirety, Lower Silver Creek flows generally northward from Silver Creek Road at Barberry Lane to Coyote Creek near the U.S. 101 freeway near McKee Road.

Recorded flooding problems within the Lower Silver Creek Watershed include storm events in December 1889, January and March 1911, January 1952, December 1955, April 1958, January 1963, February 1983, March 1983, and close-calls during the February 1998 El Niño. This project, along with the Lower Silver Creek flood improvement project, will reduce flood risk to about 3,200 parcels in this watershed.

Water district staff has completed the planning phase and prepared a Planning Study Report (PSR). The PSR indicates that the park site functions as designed but recommends raising the levee located between Capitol Expressway and Cunningham Avenue and Lower Silver Creek, as well as constructing a low floodwall along Cunningham Avenue and Flint Creek. These improvements are necessary to satisfy FEMA certification requirements.

The project is currently in the design phase.


Project goals
  • Ensure the flood detention facility does function as agreed upon by the city of San Jose and the water district in 1978—to be a joint recreational and flood detention facility. Update, if necessary, the 1978 Joint Use Agreement between the city of San Jose and the water district to be consistent with the flood detention facility’s operational condition.

  • Ensure floodwater stored in the park is commensurate with the 1978 planned floodwater surface elevation.

  • Ensure flood improvement measures are compatible with park uses.

  • Ensure the flow released from the park into Lower Silver Creek north of Cunningham Avenue can be safely conveyed with adequate freeboard so the Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection Project can be FEMA certified.

  • Ensure the flood detention facility can be FEMA certified.

  • Ensure the flood detention facility’s Division Safety of Dams jurisdictional status remains non-jurisdictional.

 


Reports and Documents
Final Planning Study Report (December 2015) - PDF 3.6 MB

 

 /uploadedImages/Services/FloodProtection/Projects/Cunningham_Parl_Improvement_Project/FEMA-map-at-Cunningham.jpg 
(click to enlarge) 

Aerial view of Cunningham Park. The light blue color indicates areas that will flood in a 100-year storm event according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Project information

Planning completion    


Dec. 2015
Design completion Dec. 2017
Construction completion Dec. 2018
Status Design phase
Location       

Lake Cunningham 
Park


For more information:

  • Contact Engineering Unit Manager Javier Valencia at (408) 630-2963 or by email.

Contact us:

You can also use “Access Valley Water” to submit questions, complains or compliments directly from your computer to a water district staff person who can help you. Click on the "Projects planned for my neighborhood" tab and select
"Cunningham Flood Detention Project".

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