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National Weather Service issues flood watch for Santa Clara County on Jan. 4-5

January 03, 2023
NWS Bay Area flood watch graphic

SAN JOSE – The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the Bay Area on Jan. 4 and 5, stating that “a strong storm system and atmospheric river will bring widespread moderate to heavy rainfall and strong winds to the region from Wednesday and Thursday. This will increase the threat for widespread flooding and wind damage across the Bay Area & Central Coast.” 

Valley Water is activating its Emergency Operations Center this week to monitor the storm and its impacts to our reservoirs and waterways. Valley Water remains in regular communication with the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Management, cities and other agencies across the county.

“Valley Water is actively preparing for this upcoming atmospheric river,” Valley Water Chair Pro Tem John L. Varela said. “We are asking everyone to please take the necessary steps now to be flood ready.”

Valley Water is closely monitoring the storm and potential flooding including:

  • Uvas Creek, with potential flooding of Highway 101 south of 10th Street in Gilroy and the area of the Gilroy Sports Park 
  • San Francisquito Creek in Palo Alto
  • Ross Creek at Cherry Avenue in San Jose
  • Upper Penitencia Creek at Mabury and King roads in San Jose
  • Guadalupe River at West Alma Avenue in San Jose
  • Sunnyvale East Channel at Tasman Drive in Sunnyvale
  • West Little Llagas Creek in Morgan Hill

Valley Water has identified these locations as hot spots. But it is important to note that the potential areas of flooding are not limited to only these locations.

Valley Water employees are working hard to ensure our waterways remain clear of debris and blockages. Our agency owns and manages 294 miles of the more than 800 miles of creeks in the county. Valley Water has crews working this week to check areas of creeks and streams throughout the county and clear any debris they find. This work has been taking place this entire rainy season.

The weather service also said subsequent weather systems will bring additional precipitation and periods of stronger winds this weekend and into at least early next week. For updates on the weather forecast, please visit the National Weather Service website.

Below are essential resources for flood preparedness:

  • To learn if your home or business is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, please visit our
  • Santa Clara County emergency alert system AlertSCC provides up-to-date information on emergencies and disasters in your area. 
  • Valley Water’s ALERT (Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time) system provides information on levels of streams and reservoirs and precipitation gauges.
  • Free, filled sandbags are available for residents of Santa Clara County. The sandbag sites are listed HERE.
  • Spills, blockages, or dumping in creeks can be reported by calling Valley Water’s watershed hotline at 408-630-2378.
  • More flood safety tips and resources are available at

Valley Water manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 285 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 294 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.