South Bay reservoir levels rise significantly after storms

LOS GATOS, Calif. (KGO) -- There's good news coming from the two-day storm we just endured.

It has helped with our water supply. While reservoirs are still below average in the South Bay -- the levels rose significantly in just a few hours.



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Yes, heavy rain can be annoying. Even aggravating. But this storm was definitely a win for our water supply.

The 10 reservoirs where the Santa Clara Valley Water district stores much of its water are visibly higher.

"Before this storm, we were looking at our reservoirs being about 60 percent of normal for this time of year. That's bumped up to 76 percent in the last couple days," said Valley Water District's Marty Grimes.

To put that in perspective, the water district captured nearly 10,000 acre feet of water from the storm. That's enough water to meet the needs of 100,000 people for a year.

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That amount of rain would completely fill the Calero Reservoir if it were empty. Calero is the district's fourth largest reservoir.

The prodigious storm also was kind to the region's network of rivers and creeks by not triggering any floods.

"There's still a lot of places around our county that are vulnerable to flooding. If it were a much bigger storm than what we got this week, there are places that could definitely flood in the future," Grimes said.



The storm did trigger mudslides in the Santa Cruz Mountains. One on Highway 35, south of Bear Creek Road, is one of many, according to residents helping neighbors with downed trees.

"There's probably several hundred trees down. Driveways are blocked, so people are in need of some community service. There's none up here, so some of us try to help out," said resident Burke Bley.

Paul Pavelko keeps a chain saw in the back of his car for times like this.

County road crews have cleared some trees, but the winter siege isn't over.

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"If the winds kick up again, too, I imagine we'll have some more slide issues and trees down. We'll just see what happens today," said Santa Clara County Fire Capt. Jarret Winter.

The water district points out this is only one storm. As beneficial as it was, reservoirs at 76 percent of normal means we still need more rain.

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