SAN JOSE, Calif. - Wednesday’s rainstorms caused familiar problems on Bay Area roadways. Flooding slowed traffic and made some surface streets hard to traverse.
"We’ll be out here all day. And then we might even do into [the] later hours," said Ted Cordero, a maintenance supervisor with the San Jose Department of Transportation.
Before lunch, he and a team of three dressed in yellow reflective rain gear from head to toe cleared more than a dozen catch basins in San Jose. Wet leaves and garbage had clogged drainage, leading to partially flooded roadways. Officials said there are over 35,000 such catch basins. That forced crews to scramble from one to the other.
"Just the timing. And when the calls come in. And the travel time, going from one spot to another," said Cordero.
Movement during the morning rush was hampered by heavy rain. A clogged catch basin on I-280 created wheel well-deep water, which slowed the commute near Highway 17.
"Terrible. Flooded out. Terrible," said music artist "Carr," dressed in colorful clothing as he handed out CDs at a gas station near SAP Center in San Jose. "San Jose is not built for the rain at all. Look at it, it’s flooded out man. It’s been big bad."
Officials cautioned motorists not to drive through flooded sections of roadway or intersections, as this can lead to getting stuck in high water.
"It was pouring… five people were walking in the rain with umbrellas, one guy on a bike with lights…gutters were flooded. So it was a problem," said South Bay commuter Nikki.
As day turned to darkness, officials said crews would continue canvassing the city, to keep minor flooding from causing major headaches during the overnight hours.
"We wanna get these cleared as fast as possible so that we’ve got safe traffic operations. And it’s still safe and easy for people to walk around and ride their bikes," said Colin Heyne, a spokesman for the San Jose DOT.
He asked homeowners to keep the catch basins near their homes, or at the corner near their house, clear of debris and leaves.
Valley Water officials said there are 20 sandbag locations around Santa Clara County and Union City officials said two locations are open for sandbagging; at the city’s corporation yard, and Fire Station 31.
Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter), @JesseKTVU and on Instagram, @jessegontv