Rain leaves reservoirs at 55% capacity

Continued rains pose continued risk of flash floods in county

Uvas Creek has flooded several areas including Silva's Crossing.

As the rainy season continues, Valley Water—the new name for the Santa Clara Valley Water District—has taken precautions to prepare for possible storm impacts.

“Residents should be aware that winter storms have the potential to cause creek flooding issues, especially on small channels that tend to rise quickly with intense rains,” the district said in a statement. “Unanticipated blockages in streams or storm drains may contribute to these risks.”

Valley Water crews have been actively checking hotspots and areas of concern and have mobilized heavy equipment to respond to reports of downed trees or large debris blockages in locations where the water district has property rights, such as along Uvas Creek in Gilroy.

As of Feb. 12, Valley Water’s 10 reservoirs were at a combined 55 percent of their full capacity, according to the water district. Anderson Reservoir is currently at 37.6 percent capacity, leaving ample capacity to capture run-off from this week’s storm. Anderson Dam’s outlet has been open since Feb. 4 to reduce the chance of the reservoir reaching its dam seismic storage restriction of 58 percent capacity.

“We are also monitoring streams for blockages at key bridges and culverts,” said Linda J. LeZotte, newly elected chair of the Valley Water board of directors, in a statement. “We need the public’s help as our eyes and ears to alert us to obstructions in the creeks to help prevent flooding.”

To report issues in creeks, residents can call 408-630-2378 or submit a service request to Access Valley Water.

“Our crews have worked all year in collaboration with cities and partners to prepare our creeks for winter rains,” LeZotte said in the statement. “We are dedicated to keeping residents and businesses safe through our flood protection programs.”

In preparation for this series of storms, all five of the district’s  sandbag sites have been fully stocked. In addition, cities around the county operate an additional 19 sandbag sites.

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