San Jose braces for first storm of season and advises residents to prep

San Jose city workers were out in force on Monday, clearing catch basins and shoveling leaves in anticipation of an approaching storm system.

The city, along with the Santa Clara Valley Water District, is advising residents to prepare for the season's first major storm.

Eric Wright, a maintenance worker for the city, emphasized the importance of the work, saying, "If this doesn't get done, it's going to flood here. And we don't want it to flood here."

With an atmospheric river approaching and the prospect of an El Niño winter, flooding is a top concern. In response to the potential risks, a 6,000-linear-foot floodwall is being erected along Coyote Creek to prevent a repeat of the 2017 flooding that affected neighborhoods.

Officials for the city and Valley Water underscored their joint emergency action plan, developed since the previous major flood, as a crucial component of storm protection.

Mayor Matt Mahan highlighted the coordinated response, stating, "We are tracking together, we have a coordinated response, we are prepared to respond as one team, which is a very happy change from where we have been."

Despite these measures, authorities emphasized the importance for residents to also make storm preparations.

Rick Callender, CEO of Valley Water, encouraged residents in high-risk areas to familiarizing themselves with sandbag locations.

"If you know that you live in a hot zone, we want to make sure that you are prepared, that you know where the sandbag locations are, and you know what to do," he said.

In the event of rain and clogged drains, residents are advised to inform the city.

Wright emphasized the proactive approach, stating, "So we get all the roots out, all the debris out, all the leaves out, and we take care of business out here."

During the previous year's storms, city crews fixed 1,000 clogged drains and 20 potholes daily, in addition to handling over 1,000 downed trees.