San Jose officials go door-to-door assessing damages, talking to residents

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 06:53PM
San Jose city officials are going door to door, assessing damages and talking to residents about how they plan on getting their lives back in order.

SAN JOSE, Calif. - State and local officials in San Jose are touring the flood-damaged neighborhoods to make their best case for state relief money.

They've estimated that they'll need about $50 million from the state, that's why workers from the California Office of Emergency Services decided to go door-to-door, talking to residents first hand who lost everything in the floods.

RELATED: San Jose flood victims relief fund efforts

Federal officials were out Monday but they will only help with public costs or expenses the city has paid for clean-up of public buildings that were damaged.

The damage to private homes was not enough to meet FEMA's requirements, so San Jose leaders say it is essential that the state step in to help these people.

"It may just look like a couple of feet of water, no big deal. But if I am someone who is at the local flea market and that's my business and I've lost all my inventory, then essentially an entire small business has been wiped out," said San Jose City Manager Kip Harkness.

RELATED: $5 million donation breathes more hope into San Jose flood relief efforts

"So a part of what we have to do and what I'm doing today is going house by house, unit by unit, and trying to get a better sense of not only the physical damage but the damage to those people's lives and their livelihoods," said Harkness.

Residents have been filling up huge dumpsters with debris and damaged property from their homes, but the streets in many neighborhoods are still full of junk and debris.

The Coyote Creek flooded two weeks ago, forcing thousand in the Rocksprings neighborhood to evacuate their homes.

RESOURCES: San Jose flood evacuations information and how to help

$6 million have been donated to relief efforts, PG&E has waived their gas and electric bill and the water department is giving victims a grace period to pay their bills.

The city says they will need the community to fill the gaps because state and federal aid won't cover it all but today they are trying hard to get as much out of the state as they can.

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