SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- No one expected Coyote Creek to flood. However, on Feb. 21, 2017, several neighborhoods saw flood waters rise so quickly, there was no time to move their cars.
Rescue boats had to ferry them to safety. People grabbed whatever possessions they could carry.
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Isabel Pulido lives on Welch Avenue in the Rock Springs neighborhood. The force of the contaminated water nearly knocked her over. Police and firefighters yelled at her to get out.
"Get out, get out!" they screamed at her.
One year later, the flood remains a painful experience for her sons, who lost their bikes and toys.
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"I try to forget about it," said 10-year-old Edgard Pulido, a fifth grader at Shirakawa School. A reporter asked if remembering the flood makes him upset. Edgard says, "Yes."
Edgard's family got some help from millions of dollars donated by the public.
Of the $6.8 million raised and administered by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, nearly 4,500 people received assistance -- $3 million was spent on housing and vehicles and basic needs, $3 million went for emergency financial aid and $200 million for emergency shelter and meals.
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Parents and neighbors of Shirakawa School established a donation center and raised $30,000 for gift cards. One hundred families at the school were flood victims.
"Within two and a half days," noted principal Yvonne Sugimura, "everything was put into play, reaching out to all our extended community areas and having people step up immediately."
Still, the Pulido family estimates they suffered at least $12,000 in losses, including two cars. In addition, the flood nightmare is still fresh on the boys' minds.
Mrs. Polido said, "I don't know what to say to the kids when they ask me... It's going to rain. Could this happen to us again?"
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