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2017 Coyote Creek Flood Recovery

Posted on: April 17, 2017

San José Coyote Creek Flood Recovery Update - April 17, 2017 12:00 p.m.

San José Coyote Creek Flood Recovery Update – April 17, 2017  12:00 p.m.
To subscribe to the bulletin: Go to www.sanjoseca.gov/NotifyMe and select “2017 Coyote Creek Flood Recovery” bulletin under News Flash.

Over the weekend of April 7-9, the remaining residents at the shelter at the Seven Trees Community Center were successfully relocated to other housing options. The shelter officially closed on Monday, April 10. More details are provided below. Other significant updates include:
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it will make funding available to multiple California counties to pay for up to 75 percent of costs for repairs or replacement of public facilities damaged by the February storms. Of the remaining 25 percent of costs, City staff anticipate that the State will cover 18.75 percent of the costs with 6.25 percent to be covered by local funds. Assessment of public property damages and emergency response costs in San José continue to be refined, and now stand at $25 million, up from an earlier estimate of $18 million.
  • Neighborhood meetings hosted by the Santa Clara Valley Water District provide an opportunity for residents to discuss the flood and learn about flood prevention measures for Coyote Creek. City staff and nonprofit partners are participating and providing informational resources to assist flood victims. Two of the meetings have been held; the last meeting is tonight:
    • Monday, April 17, 6:00-8:30 pm – Roosevelt Community Center, 901 E. Santa Clara Street, San José
  • Disaster loans at very favorable terms are available for qualifying renters, homeowners and businesses through the federal Small Business Administration. The San José Housing Department is also providing loans and small grants from state-funded programs, and these are available to income-limited homeowners. Learn more at www.sanjoseca.gov/FloodRecoveryLoans.

Weather Update and Readiness
After scattered showers through Tuesday, dry and warmer weather is expected for the remainder of the week. Staff from the City’s Department of Transportation continue to monitor creek conditions and are watching for any issues with fallen trees. For more information, go to http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/. Property owners who are considering removing a tree should consult the City’s Tree Removal handout or call 408-535-3555.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District continues to release water from Anderson Reservoir. As of today, April 17, the reservoir is approximately 26 feet below the spillway elevation and is at 68 percent of capacity. For more information about reservoir levels and stream flows, go to http://alert.valleywater.org/.

FEMA funding available to assist with public damages
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it will make funding available on a cost-sharing basis to multiple counties in California to help pay for repairs or replacement of public facilities damaged by severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides from February 1 to February 23, 2017. The funds may also be used for hazard mitigation measures statewide. The funds can be applied as follows:

  • Payment of no less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal; emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health; and repairs or replacement of roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private nonprofit organizations engaged in community service activities.
  • Payment of no more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.

City staff anticipate that the State will cover 18.75 percent of the costs, leaving 6.25 percent of costs to be covered by local funds. Assessment of public property damages and emergency response costs in San José continue to be refined and now stand at $25 million, up from an earlier estimate of $18 million. The FEMA funding does not apply to damages on private property. However, as discussed below, disaster loans and grants are available for private property owners in addition to assistance from the Flood Victims Relief Fund.

Car Replacement & Donation Program
The City is working with Goodwill Silicon Valley, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and local automobile dealers to help those who lost their cars to the Coyote Creek flood. The estimated need is between 300-500 cars. A $100,000 donation to the Flood Victims Relief Fund will be used to purchase used vehicles in working condition at discount prices from local auto dealers. This program is also inviting donations of  cars in working condition from individuals and organizations. The City donated 20 of its fleet vehicles to this program, and may donate more as they become available.

  • If you need a replacement vehicle: You must be in case management with Catholic Charities. Call 866-305-0617 or visit www.catholiccharitiescc.org/flood-relief.
  • If you want to donate a vehicle: Call Goodwill Silicon Valley at 408-869-9101.
  • If you are an organization with a car donation program: Contact Jeff Ruster at the City of San José, 408-535-8183 or jeff.ruster@sanjoseca.gov.

Housing Assistance & Unit Donation Program
The City has launched a program to match donations of housing units or listings of low-cost units with those who lost their housing to the flood. The units are listed at www.scchousingsearch.org, although access to the site is controlled for the near future so as to ensure flood victims have first opportunity at the donated or reserved units. Flood survivors seeking housing must be in case management with Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.

Property owners:
To donate or list low-cost units, call 877-428-8844.

Flood survivors seeking housing:
Contact Catholic Charities at 866-305-0617 or email disasterrelief@CatholicCharitiesSCC.org. Or visit:

  • Catholic Charities, 1900 Senter Road, San José. Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm.
  • Housing Department, City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, San José, 12th Floor. Hours:  Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm.

Disaster Loans and Grants
Disaster loans with very favorable terms are available to help qualifying renters, homeowners, and businesses affected by the February 2017 Coyote Creek Flood. Learn more at www.sanjoseca.gov/FloodRecoveryLoans.

  • For renters, homeowners, and business owners. Low-interest loans are available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to help with replacing possessions, repairing homes, and covering business repairs and economic injury. SBA is taking in-person applications at San José City Hall (12th Floor), or you can apply online or by mail. See the SBA fliers in EnglishSpanish, and Vietnamese.
  • For income-restricted single-family homeowners. No-interest loans from state funds are available through the San José Housing Department for income-restricted single-family homeowners. The homeowner's income cannot exceed 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI) as determined by household size. For more information, see handouts in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese or call 408-975-4440.
  • For low-income single-family homeowners and mobilehome owners. Grants up to $5,000 for repair work to be done by City nonprofit partners, Rebuilding Together or Habitat for Humanity, are available through the Housing Department for low-income homeowners, including owners of mobilehomes. The homeowner must earn no more than 80% of the Area Median Income as determined by household size. For more information, see handouts in EnglishSpanish and Vietnamese or call 408-975-4440.

Seven Trees shelter is closed; residents have taken other housing options
Over the weekend of April 7-9, there were far fewer shelter residents as most had taken opportunities to relocate to hotels, motels or apartments. By Saturday April 8, only nine people spent the night at the shelter. By Sunday, all had moved successfully into other housing options. The shelter officially closed on Monday, April 10. City staff worked with schools to ensure that children who had stayed at the shelter continued to have transportation arrangements even as they moved to other housing.

Case workers from Catholic Charities are working with flood victims on their long-term housing needs and other social service needs. The number of  households under case management has risen to 173 households (average 3.3 persons per household). Housing options are coordinated with the City’s Housing Department, and this includes access to housing units donated through the City’s Housing Unit Donation Program

Free Taxi Service continues between homes, City Hall, Sacred Heart, and Catholic Charities. The free taxi service continues for those needing transportation assistance between Sacred Heart, Catholic Charities, City Hall, and their homes. Call Yellow Cab at 408-777-7777 for a ride only between these points. Provide the driver with Account #1421 to cover the taxi fee. 

Building Inspections and Entry Status of Properties
The number of “restricted entry” (yellow tag) units in flood-affected neighborhoods continues to drop, now at a total of 39. This reflects the combined efforts of property owners and City staff to undertake the necessary permits, inspections, and repairs to address building safety concerns. For some of the remaining units, property owners may be out of the area, and they have yet to initiate the necessary steps. City staff are making efforts to connect with and support all property owners on necessary repairs.

Volunteer Efforts
Flood recovery cleanups are largely completed. Volunteers who wish to continue helping with community projects and needs will now find opportunities at the City’s regular volunteer calendar and web page. Thank you to our thousands of volunteers who tremendously assisted with the flood recovery efforts! 

To receive emails about volunteer opportunities, go to https://www.sanjoseca.gov/list.aspx, and scroll to ‘calendar’ and click on the envelope icon next to the “One Day Volunteer Events.”

Flood Victims Relief Fund and Donations

Donations to the community-supported Flood Victims Relief Fund totaled $6.7 million as of April 14. To date, $2.2 million was made available in direct cash assistance, and $3.0 million is being used for housing assistance, car replacement ($100,000), and case management. Another round of distributions is planned and will include assistance to homeless individuals who lost belongings to the flood.

To make a donation to the fund, go to:  www.siliconvalleycf.org/sjflood

Housing Assistance, General Inquiries, Expedited Permit Assistance 
San José City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, San José

If driving, park under City Hall Tower on South 6th Street. Bring the parking stub to the first floor for validation.
People affected by the flood can go to City Hall for housing assistance and expedited building permits, as well as access to a range of flood assistance information. 

  • Housing Department, 12th Floor (replacing Counter #5 on first floor) - Housing assistance, flood recovery information: As the number of people coming to City Hall for assistance has diminished, the Housing Department is no longer staffing Counter #5 on the first floor. Instead, those needing assistance can find help directly from the Housing Department offices on the 12th floor. Staff will help people connect with resources for food, housing, social services, legal assistance, mold remediation, and more.
  • Permits Assistance Desk, 1st Floor (Tel: 408-535-3555) - Expedited building permits: Property owners affected by the flood who need building permits can come to the Permits Assistance Desk. The City has waived permit fees for construction work associated with flood recovery. 

Additional Information for Flood Victims
The City continues to develop or relay from partners a range of information to assist flood victims. This information is available at www.sanjoseca.gov/FloodRecoveryHandouts, and distributed at libraries, community centers and in some cases door-to-door drops in the flood-affected neighborhoods. Handouts include:

For regular updates please visit www.sanjoseca.gov/FloodRecovery (older www.sanjoseca.gov/stormupdate will redirect to this)

Coyote Creek Flood: Information and Updates
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