Flood evacuation orders expand in San Jose

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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Powerful storms in the Bay Area have created disastrous conditions in San Jose, causing the evacuation of more than 200 residents with more rain on the way.

SAN JOSE (KGO) -- San Jose firefighters rescued more than 200 residents by boat in flood waters in the Rockspring neighborhood at Senter and Phelan.

New evacuations were ordered for the entire area along Coyote Creek north of Interstate 280 and South of 237 at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. They expanded the mandatory evacuation order to nearly all residents East of Coyote Creek and West of Highway 101, except for the Bonita neighborhood.

Click here to see a map of emergencies in the area.

The San Jose Fire Department is now saying that more than 180 residents are evacuated and seeking shelter Tuesday.

"Coyote Creek is rising because of water coming out of Anderson (Reservoir)," San Jose fire spokesman Capt. Mitch Matlow said. "We have a neighborhood that's basically underwater."

VIDEO: Rescues underway in Nordale neighborhood, San Jose

Water rescue teams used boats and other vehicles to go door-to-door and pull residents to safety, Matlow said.

Anyone who has come into contact with the murky brown water is being decontaminated because of fears about overflowing sewage lines, oil and gas from vehicles trapped in the water or household chemicals that might have leaked into the flood waters.

VIDEO: SJ Fire Chief details Nordale rescue efforts

No significant injuries have been reported so far.

Residents say the water was moving so quickly they had no time to prepare.

"I know we lost a lot of photos. I had a lot of my clothes down there from the winter that I like to store. I know I had a lot of shoes. I had all my baby's toys, all of his stuff down there," said Gabriela Martinez, a Rockspring resident

"Early morning around nine, I move the car. Yeah, pretty fast. 15 minutes, the water go up to here, earlier it's only like four inch, 15 minutes later about a foot deep," said Dui Nguyen, a San Jose resident.

"Run out try to get my wife and my kid out. They are up in that apartment. They're trying to get out," said Nguyen.

ABC7 cameras were rolling when Nguyen's wife and son were rescued by fire officials.

"We're going door to door right now through all of the homes in there. They're all going to be evacuated. They're all going to be decontaminated. Power is now shut off to the neighborhood or will be soon, so none of these people are going to be able to stay in their homes." said Capt. Matlow.

"There seems to have been a unique breach of some sort, and obviously that's something we're going to be sorting out in the days ahead. Our focus right now is on ensuring that these residents are safe," said Sam Liccardo, the Mayor of San Jose.

An overnight shelter will open at 7:00 p.m. at James Lick High School, on 57 N. White Road.

MORE: Resources from the Red Cross

It will be operated by the Red Cross and the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services.

If necessary the city may open a second overnight shelter and keep the Lick Center open Tuesday night as well, officials said.

The shelter cannot accept pets, but residents can take their pets to the San Jose Animal Shelter for safekeeping.

The animal shelter is located at 2750 Monterey Road, San Jose.

To report downed trees and flooding, call 408-794-1900.

Stay with ABC7 News on-air and online for the latest developments.

The Bay City News contributed to this article.

PHOTOS: Residents rescued from at least 30 flooded homes in San Jose

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Sky7 shows a car immersed in floodwater on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 (left) and again on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 (right), when floodwaters receded in San Jose, Calif. (KGO-TV)