'Suddenly the water came' — 14,000 people evacuated in San Jose, CA

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/22/suddenly-the-water-came-1.html


It’s the lack of information and forewarning when they had to have known. They never even said you need to prepare for a major flood.

Every climate scientist in the room:


Yeah, that quote kind of made me want to shake that person. Because, you know, weather prediction is a precise science and the weather man is NEVER wrong about anything, which is why no one EVER gets pissed off when a city calls an evacuation or threatens a really high flood and then it turns out to just be a light drizzle of rain and the creek goes up two inches. And just like they NEVER get it wrong with weather being less intense than expected, they also NEVER get it wrong about weather being more intense than expected. THEY ALWAYS KNOW. BECAUSE THEY ARE THE GOVERNMENT!!!

And, as you point out, endotoxin, it’s not like we didn’t have some hint that this sort of thing might happen more frequently or that our past models might not match events happening now. ahem.


*pat pat* There there, I’m sure they mean well.

I recommend taking a deep breath, a most modest glass of wine, and move to higher ground. Come back and see me if symptoms haven’t improved by the next century.

Edit: Spelling. Obviously too much of my own prescription.


Lock up those crooked weathermen!


Did you float away from San Jose? Woa woa woa woa woa woa woa woa wooooa…


California is starting to look a lot like Texas. Well at least flooding wise.

[quote]Flood victim Sandy Moll:

“If anyone said two or three days ago that this could be as bad or worse than 20 years ago — I’m seething. It’s the lack of information and forewarning when they had to have known."

–San Jose Mercury News, pub. 2017/2/22, 5:31am

KRON-4 TV: February 17, 2017, 7:12 am:
Flooding concerns arise as Anderson Reservoir nears capacity

Anderson Lake is already at more than 99-percent capacity. Water is expected to start flowing over the reservoir’s spillway and that could lead to flooding down stream in Coyote Creek.

Officials say the low lying areas in Morgan Hill along Coyote Creek will likely see high water levels. Whether flood water reaches any homes will depend on how big the storms are this weekend.

San Jose Mercury News: 2017/02/18, 12:04am:
Santa Clara County: Anderson Reservoir spills over for first time in 11 years

“We expect it to rise a little bit more today, and with the storms on Sunday and Monday it will rise pretty significantly,” Marty Grimes, a spokesman for the water district, said Saturday morning. “That’s where he have some concern that it could be enough to cause some flooding issues on Coyote Creek.”

ABC-7 News: 2017/2/18, 1023am:


“The storms have outpaced the avility of the outlet to release the water,” said Jim McCann of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. “99 percent of capacity.”

Morgan Hill resident Steve Lane says the water is within a foot of the spillway top. “It’s like 624.3 feet and that concrete’s at 625.”

If you think the outlet is impressive, just wait for the spillway.

“It’s like that only ten times bigger splash,” said another Morgan Hill resident Alex Aguilera. “Because it drops over a 70-foot cliff. It’s cool, but I’m a little nervous.”

Areas along Coyote Creek could experience flooding.



I live right on this creek. The thing is, the flooding was only sort of indirectly caused by the rain - the worst flooding happened many hours after the rain stopped (and it wasn’t that much rain, either). The major problem was that the creek is fed by a dammed lake - and the dam isn’t earthquake safe, so they can’t have it at more than around 50% capacity. But because of water scarcity, they try to keep it as full as possible all the time. So we had a sustained period of rainfall, during which time they were also dumping water from the dam. Eventually the dam exceeded capacity and they were dumping water out of the top and bottom of it and water levels shot up, causing flooding. This was as much a failure of the infrastructure as anything else, and pretty predictable. Then the city failed - they failed to warn people in affected areas in time, and then, long after the fact, they started doing mandatory evacuations in a haphazard manner. I was carefully monitoring water levels to see when I might need to evacuate. At 2am I had the police at my door with the mandatory order, but at that point the water had been going down for several hours, and given the rapid rise earlier, they were at least six hours too late (and more like 16 hours too late for some of my neighbors who did get flooded out). It was also impossible to get decent information about what was going on.
The city also has a history of allowing people to build in flood areas, which then rather predictably get flooded, the city gets sued for allowing building in flood zones, and then they forget it happened and do it all over again a few years later.


Is the climate changing anthropologically? No shit, Sherlock.

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At first I thought you just didn’t like the lake!

Then I realised you really didn’t like the lake!


Watershed, man.


I keep calling it the damned lake. Freudian slip.


Will rents be dropp… Oh, I can’t even pretend to finish the sentence. The Yellowstone supervolcano could blow and all the parasites would raise the rent on account of “dramatic views.”


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