Some San Jose residents still homeless months after Coyote Creek floods

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Nearly five months after Coyote Creek flooded over President's Day weekend, a group of San Jose residents still aren't able to return to their homes. (KGO-TV)

Nearly five months after Coyote Creek flooded over President's Day weekend, a group of San Jose residents still aren't able to return to their homes.

RELATED: Deadline approaches for victims of Coyote Creek flooding to file claims

Some victims are now exploring legal action against the city of San Jose and Santa Clara County, as well as the Santa Clara Valley Water District, saying all of the devastation could've been prevented. ABC7 News was in the Rock Springs neighborhood Thursday afternoon as residents gathered to talk about next steps.

"A lot of people here don't speak English, they have very little money, and they've lost just about everything," says Gordon Smith, Rock Springs resident. "Some of them are afraid to speak up."

There's been a lot of finger-pointing over these past few months as the city, county and water district play the blame game over who should be held responsible.

As previously reported by ABC7 News, city officials allege that they informed the public late because they relied on faulty projections from the water district which showed the creek could hold more water before the flooding happened.

RELATED: Red tape may put end to South Bay flood control project

San Jose resident and medical student, AnnaLisa Wilson, spent months living in a shelter. She says her old apartment still hasn't been repaired, and blames local authorities for her pain and suffering. Wilson is among those who have already filed claims with local agencies seeking recovery for their property losses.

"It's emotionally draining not knowing where you're going to live," says Wilson. "Not knowing what's going to happen next, it's hard."

By law, flood victims have until mid-August to file a claim with the city, county, and/or water district, in order to be eligible for any type of compensation. It's also the first step to take before a lawsuit can be filed which some of the victims haven't ruled out.

"We can do this together and press them to make necessary changes," said Amanda Hawes, an attorney who is representing a group of the flood victims. "But if they (local agencies) don't hear from you, it's going to be back to business as usual."

RELATED: San Jose developing flood warning system for residents

The San Jose city attorney's office confirms to ABC7 News that it is currently reviewing claims but had no further comment.

Related Topics:
floodingflash floodinglawsuitmoneycourtcourt casesevere weatherrainhomelessSan Jose
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