Coyote Creek Planning Study History
The Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project (Planning Study Phase) was formerly called the Mid-Coyote Flood Protection Project. The use of the word “Project” tends to bring to mind a plan which is funded and ready to be constructed. The emphasis to use the tern “Planning Study Phase” was made to better describe the process that is being undertaken to collect public input for a study. The funding for this study only covers the planning study, partial design and partial construction at Montague Expressway. The planning study is needed in order to ensure a project’s feasibility, determine if it can be implemented at a reasonable cost., and gain support at the local level and at the federal level for a future project. A project of this magnitude will likely need federal support in order to proceed to the final design phase and then to construction. Future funding for construction is not scheduled and cannot be requested without a planning study which has community support.
Planning study goals:
The Coyote Creek Flood Protection Planning Study will engage the community in helping to describe a package of flood protection alternatives which can protect San Jose residents, property, roads and schools from the threat of a flood disaster while meeting the other study objectives and gain support from the community. The preferred alternative will provide protection from a 1% (or 100 year flood event) and also improve maintenance access to the creek, enhance the wildlife habitat of Coyote Creek and improve drainage and water quality while also providing opportunities for public access.
Planning Study Process (10/09)
Severe flooding of Coyote Creek occurred in 1982 with 1,700 people evacuated and an estimated 360 homes and 40 businesses sustaining damages in excess of $6 million.
Storms in January 1997 generated record runoff in Coyote Creek (post Anderson (1950) Reservoir construction) and caused significant flooding within the Mid-Coyote Creek Project area. Coyote Creek overtopped its banks at several locations between Highway 101 and Interstate 280 and several homes and businesses were inundated with more than six feet of water. Land adjacent to the recently completed Lower-Coyote Creek Project area (San Francisco Bay to Montaque Expressway) were well protected by project improvements, averting estimated damages of $10 to $20 million.
More severe than 1982, flooding storms in February of 1998 caused significant flooding of residences within the Mid-Coyote Creek Project area similar to those experienced in 1997.