San Jose seeks state, federal funds to cover flooding damage

SAN JOSE (KTVU) -- The city of San Jose started the process of applying for state and federal emergency relief funds today, estimating that last week's Coyote Creek flood has caused $50 million in damage to private property and $23 million in public damage, including parks, park facilities and roads.

Assistant city manager Dave Sykes said at a news conference this afternoon that those numbers were determined through formulas and will likely increase as more thorough inspections are performed on the ground.

According to the damage assessment form submitted to Santa Clara County today, three homes sustained major damage and 952 homes and 95 businesses sustained minor damage. Over 2,700 homes and 28 businesses were listed as affected, but with no physical damage.

The city has yellow tagged nearly 500 homes, meaning meaning residents can't live in the homes but repairs can be made to the residences. City crews will begin towing cars away here at no charge to make way for more cleaning.

One San Jose homeowner said four feet of water flooded his basement, damaging the foundation and structural beams to his home on 19th Street.

His home of 25 years was originally red-tagged but later upgraded to yellow after he added support beams. 

“We have three other houses that they don't have any insurance or money so we are trying to help out people who need it,” said Gary Chapin with Reassured Restoration. “It's quite sad to be honest.”

Workers from Chapin’s firm was seen biowashing the basement of another yellow-tagged home, an attempt to eradicate raw sewage from the premises. Officials said the sheetrock must be replaced.

"The estimate we have done right now is really based on formulas and not based on actual inspection work," said Dave Sykes, the county's EOC director.

City officials say the damage estimates are likely to grow.

"We know all the infrastructure costs to the city and all the individual homeowners and renters have been devastating so we know the number is big and it's only going to get bigger," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Liccardo said he wasn't surprised with the damage estimate. On Monday night, he visited the Seven Trees Community Center, which is now serving as an overnight shelter to 120 flooding evacuees.

"It’s real hard,” said Angelina Lopez, who was forced to leave her home. "We have two kids and dealing with cleaning everything up and just being around people you don't know."

The city has put 72 hour tow away notices on vehicles parked in the Rock Springs area.

The owners will not be charged but the city will begin towing the vehicles Thursday. Car owners can call San Jose Police on the whereabouts of their vehicles.

The city has also announced nearly $940,000 in donations for flood victims. The city council is expected to spend much of its next meeting to discuss applications for federal and state dollars.

The city cited a $4.8 million loss for debris removal and disposal at 1,300 sites, $554,031 in losses for emergency protective measures at 50 sites, $3.7 million for damage to non-federal road and bridge systems, almost $6.1 million for damage to two public buildings, $100,000 in damage to public utilities at three sites and $7.8 million for damage to 12 parks.

About 90 percent of the public buildings and 20 percent of outdoor spaces are insured, according to city officials.

Over 850 yellow-tagged homes have been cleared since Sunday, bringing the number of homes that can be entered, but not inhabited until repairs are performed from 1,335 to 479.

Two sites in Brookwood Terrace are still red-tagged, meaning they are still too unsafe for residents to even enter to retrieve belongings, Sykes said.

About 1,000 volunteers helped with cleanup efforts over the weekend, Sykes said.

The Seven Trees Community Center is sheltering 120 flood victims now that classes are back in session at James Lick High School, where residents stayed last week and through the weekend.

The new shelter has better amenities than the high school, Sykes said. Schoolchildren staying at the shelter were provided with transportation to school today, as many families lost their cars to the flood.

Those whose cars have been towed can call the San Jose Police Department's auto desk at (408) 277-4263.

Inundated cars that have not yet been towed will be tagged 72 hours before they are towed, Sykes said. Residents will not be charged for towing.

RV parking is allowed in affected areas.

City Council is expected to declare a state of local emergency at its meeting on Tuesday, which allows the city to apply for aid.

San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund had raised $939,455 by this afternoon, including $10,000 each from Boston Properties, Comcast, Palo Alto Networks and the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors. SAP North America also committed $25,000 to the fund.

Airbnb is housing flood victims in temporary accommodations for free, Mayor Liccardo said Monday.

KTVU reporter Azenith Smith and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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