Hundreds of families anxious to return to San Jose homes after flooding

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SAN JOSE (KTVU) -- Evacuations in some parts of San Jose were lifted Wednesday night, mainly neighborhoods near William Street. However, thousands of people living in the Rock Springs and Old Oakland Road areas are still under a mandatory evacuation.

Jessica Blay returned home Wednesday night after floodwaters entered her home near 21st and William Streets in San Jose. Her floors were caked with mud, branches and debris. She estimates the damage is more than $10,000.

“You can see the damage now,” said Blay. “I'm just kind of like we are going to replace everything.”

Salvaging what they can and pumping out as much water as they can, her family is in the process of taking everything out. Her father Monico Moreira owns the home and is devastated.

“This never happened,” said Moreira. “When I saw this I said oh my God.”

Despite the damage, her family considers themselves lucky. In other neighborhoods, families are still evacuated.

On Wednesday night, the Rocky Springs neighborhood was eerily quiet with cars and homes submerged in water knee-deep.
On the city's north side, pumps are making significant progress at the South Bay Mobile Home Park. Floodwaters there are now four inches deep. At its peak, it was three feet.

“When people are allowed to go back into their homes, we have developed a checklist for them to use make sure everything is safe,” said San Jose EOC Director Dave Sykes.

City officials are warning homeowners of the hazards from all the standing water, as they investigate what caused the creek to overflow its banks.

“What we had the most difficulty was establishing how much and when,” said San Jose Assistant Fire Chief Robert Sapien. “Ultimately there was not going to be any stopping this volume of water once it was being released up creek.”

As Jessica Blay's family assesses the damage, she said all they can do is make the best of it.

“All you can do now is clean up after what happened to us,” said Blay. “I'm trying to stay positive.”

City officials plan to continue assessing areas that have been evacuated and returning people only when it is safe for them to be back into their homes. There are major injuries to report, except one firefighter was injured rescuing a cat.

Niles Canyon Road reopens

Officials have reopened Niles Canyon, several days after the road was closed because of rising floodwaters.

The recent rains was blamed for mass evacuations, power outages, downed trees and flooded roadways.

Bay City News contributed to this report.