Excess rain water threatens Anderson Reservoir dam in South Bay

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- Rain has brought too much of a good thing to Santa Clara Valley's biggest reservoir.

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Anderson Reservoir near Morgan Hill is too full and officials are releasing water as fast as they can to protect a nearby dam, which is not earthquake safe.

Water is gushing out of the reservoir through an outlet and into Coyote Creek at about 3,000 gallons per second and folks are coming to Anderson Lake County Park to feel the intensity.

"We used to come out here when we were kids, 11-12 years old," San Jose resident Bob Seuss. "Our parents would bring us out here to watch the water."

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is releasing water as fast as it can, but it's still not enough.

"The rain that's been pelting us has been so great that the water coming in has been greater than the amount we've been able to release through the outlet," said Marty Grimes of the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

That's a problem because Anderson Reservoir is only supposed to be 68 percent full. Anymore than that and the dam could fail under the pressure of too much water during an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 or stronger. The reservoir is currently 91 percent full.

In fact, it's so full that officials expect the water to spill over the dam and down a concrete spillway designed to relieve pressure. No major flooding is expected.

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