Firefighters rescue 2 people from rising Coyote Creek in San Jose

Jonathan Bloom Image
ByJonathan Bloom KGO logo
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Firefighters rescue people from rising Coyote Creek in San Jose
Monday's storm has caused problems for people all around the Bay Area. People had to be rescued after getting stranded near Coyote Creek due to rising floodwaters.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Monday's storm has caused problems for people all around the Bay Area. Some were small, like a man who had to ride his bike through rising water, and others big, like a rescue of people stranded in Coyote Creek due to those same rising floodwaters.

In San Jose, weeks of rainfall are causing a problem they haven't seen in years - flooding along Coyote Creek.

STORMWATCH: Track the rain with Live Doppler 7

The 911 call came from an island in the middle of the creek. "The water was rising on both sides of a piece of land that they used to be able to walk to," San Jose Fire Dept. Capt. Mitch Matlow said. "It became an island, it wasn't an island a week ago."

Sk7 shows how the creek's flooded its banks into the nearby woods, which neighbors say were a popular spot for transients to set up camp.

"It's kind of a problem we've been dealing with in this neighborhood for a while," one neighbor said. "The homeless."

Firefighters say they believe the people they set out to rescue had been living there on what was certainly not an island paradise.

STORMWATCH: Watch your AccuWeather forecast

San Jose has the county's only rescue team that's allowed to enter the water and this was their second rescue of the season.

They work out of an inflatable boat, wearing helmets, life vests and dry suits, in water that's anything but inviting.

"It is contaminated water, and then there's the debris. All these years of drought have allowed garbage to collect along the waterways, plant material rocks that are all being displaced by the fast-moving water and being carried downstream," Matlow said.

Using paddles instead of the boat's motor, they got the two stranded people on board. They say both suffered hypothermia and one sustained minor injuries.

"I don't have any details on those injuries. They're both very cold and they're going to go to a hospital and get warmed up and get treated," Matlow said.

No sooner had that ambulance left, firefighters were called to another water rescue. These have ended happily, but they say the worst of the flooding could happen Tuesday.

They warn residents to stay far away from the creek that, while magnificent to look at, is also dangerous.

Click here for more of ABC7 News' photos, videos and stories on weather.

Click here to download the ABC7 News App to get your weather forecast on the go. And make sure you enable push alerts for immediate notifications and severe weather alerts.