Flood evacuations reduced in San Jose, major damage remains

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ByMatt Keller KGO logo
Friday, February 24, 2017
San Jose residents return to flood ravaged homes
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Some San Jose residents are coming back to a home they don't recognize, meanwhile thousands of others are still under mandatory evacuations.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of people are still waiting to return home after the devastating flooding in San Jose. Coyote Creek dropped below flood stage Thursday morning, but flood damage remains for neighborhoods.

Mandatory evacuations have been reduced in size; they are now in the neighborhoods around the Williams Street Park area, the Rock Springs area and the Old Oakland Road area.

RESOURCES: San Jose flood evacuation info and how to help

Nordale Avenue continues to sit under water as San Jose Public Works tries to get a pumping station that was damaged in the flood back up and running. Residents on South 20th Street near East William Street were evacuated during the flood. The worst part?

"You were able to see the water coming but you couldn't stop it. You feel so powerless," said Peter Miskin, San Jose resident.

Miskin and his partner, Gary Johnson, and a friend tried to save what they could.

"It was so fast we managed to evacuate the dogs, medications and passports. Everything else stayed," said Miskin.

RELATED: Animals impacted by San Jose flooding

What was left behind ended up soaking in 7 inches of a mix of water, sewage and chemicals. In the basement, the water has nowhere to go -- creating a costly toxic soup.

"Seasonal clothing, extra supplies, food pantry was down there. Also furnace and air conditioning system is all underneath the house so it's all gone," said Miskin.

The insurance company has told Miskin it could take up to $300,000 to do all the repairs.

"They'll have to remove the flooring, the drywalls, everything. You know the house is not inhabitable. We're advised not to stay here because of the contamination," said Miskin.

Miskin does have flood insurance, but he believes many of his neighbors do not. One woman asked ABC7 where the help was from the city, they're overwhelmed and frustrated and this is still early in the recovery process.

PHOTOS: Flood waters rip through San Jose causing damage, evacuations

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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.