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Statement from Chair Linda J. LeZotte on storm readiness

January 15, 2019
storm preparedness

An “atmospheric river” is projected to bring heavy rains to our region as early as Wednesday afternoon.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is taking precautions to prepare for possible storm impacts. Heavy rainfall in a short period of time could increase the risk of local flash floods in small urban streams. Unanticipated blockages in streams or storm drains may contribute to these risks.

Water district crews have been actively checking hotspots and areas of concerns. They stand ready with heavy equipment to respond to reports of downed trees or large debris blockages in locations where we have property rights. We are also monitoring streams for blockages at key bridges and culverts. We need the public’s help as our eyes and ears to alert us to obstructions in the creeks to help prevent flooding. To report issues in creeks, residents can call 408-630-2378 or submit a service request to Access Valley Water.

Santa Clara Valley Water District crews have worked all year in collaboration with cities and partners to prepare our creeks for winter rains. We are dedicated to keeping residents and businesses safe through our flood protection programs. In preparation for this series of storms, all five of our sandbag sites have been fully stocked. In addition, cities around the county operate an additional 19 sandbag sites.

As of Tuesday afternoon, our ten reservoirs have a combined storage of just 29 percent of their full capacity. This leaves a significant amount of storage space to capture the expected storm runoff. Therefore, we do not anticipate any possibility of our large reservoirs reaching capacity. The exceptions are our two smallest reservoirs which include Vasona Reservoir in Los Gatos and Almaden Reservoir in San Jose. No downstream flooding is anticipated if the reservoirs spill.

Visit our website ( for flood safety tips, current reservoir levels and stream flows, and maps to free sandbag sites. We encourage residents to stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for weather reports and advisories.

This information has been shared will all cities in the county.


Linda J. LeZotte is chair of the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. She can be reached at [email protected]

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 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 275 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.