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E1: Coyote Creek Flood Protection*

About This Project

This project is to plan, design and construct improvements along approximately nine (9) miles of Coyote Creek, between Montague Expressway and Tully Road, in San José. The primary objective is to provide protection from floods up to the level that occurred on February 21, 2017, equivalent to approximately a 5% flood (20-year event). In December 2019, the Valley Water Board of Directors voted to allocate local funding for construction of the preferred project; however, Valley Water is also exploring additional external funding sources and partnership opportunities.

Since 2017, Valley Water has implemented several short-term interim projects to help reduce the risk of flooding along Coyote Creek. These include the installation of an interim floodwall and embankment along the creek in the Rock Springs community. This structure protects the Rock Springs community from a flood event equivalent to the February 2017 flood. Other interim projects include repairing a 150-foot levee adjacent to the South Bay Mobile Home Park, installing flood gauges on bridges that provide real-time visual information on water levels and removing invasive vegetation from Valley Water and City property in parts of the creek that experienced the most flooding.

 

*This project was voter approved as part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.

Construction
Datapoints
Status
On Target
Phase
Design
Location
San José
Schedule
Start FY 2022 / Finish FY 2026
Funding
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($48.2)
News and UpdatesNews and Updates
Reports and DocumentsReports and Documents
Environmental and Community BenefitsEnvironmental and Community Benefits
History and BackgroundHistory and Background
News & Updates

The Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project (Project) will provide solutions to reduce the risk of flooding to Coyote Creek adjacent communities from Montague Expressway to Tully Road up to the level of the February 2017 flood, which was the highest flood event observed since Anderson Dam was constructed in 1950.

Upcoming Public Meetings
Valley Water, in partnership with the City of San Jose’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, will host three public meetings to receive neighborhood input on the proposed flood protection elements located in the City’s parks, currently in the design phase for the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project (CCFPP) and Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project (CCFMMP). The meetings will solicit the communities’ input to refine further the selected flood reduction alternatives as the projects proceed through the design phase.

October 7, 2021
Rocksprings Park, at the corner of Needles Drive and Rock Springs Drive, within the park area between the playground and basketball courts. Coyote Meadows will also be discussed at this meeting.

October 13, 2021
William Street Park, at the corner of E. William Street and South 16th Street, next to the corner garden along 16th Street. Selma Olinder Park will also be discussed at this meeting

October 14, 2021
Watson Park, at 1098 Jackson Street, next to the basketball courts located near the back parking lot.

We will also live-stream the meeting on Valley Water's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SCVWD

For the health and safety of everyone, it is recommended that all in-person meeting attendees wear a face-covering.

The Coyote Creek Flood Projects are currently in the early design phase, with staff actively gathering and evaluating critical data from various sections along Coyote Creek. Both projects have various flood reduction elements proposed in different locations along nine miles of Coyote Creek. Valley Water will present renderings of the various flood reduction elements and a mockup of the preferred alternatives at each park. Staff will also update you on current efforts, project timeline, public input opportunities, and next steps.

A copy of the invitation is available for downloading

Past Public meetings

July 2021
Valley Water hosted a meeting to update neighbors on the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order Compliance Project, known as the Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project. Valley Water provided an update on the project’s progress, current efforts, and next steps as we prepare for fall public meetings (meeting notice).

Here is a recording of the July 22 meeting:

Watch the meeting video

Meeting materials
  - Agenda
  - Presentation

  - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

June 2020
In December 2019, the Valley Water Board voted to allocate local funding for the construction of the preferred project. Virtual public meetings were held in June 2020 to present the preferred Project alternatives to the public and stakeholders. 

Wednesday, June 10
Focused on the following communities:
Golden Wheel, Riverbend, and South Bay mobile home parks

Thursday, June 11
Focused on the following communities:
Bevin Brook, Nordale, and Rock Springs

Wednesday, June 17
Focused on the following communities:
Bonita-24th Street, Brookwood Terrace,
Five Wounds, Julian-St. James, Naglee
Park, Olinder, Roosevelt, and Wooster

Frequently Asked Questions

Public meetings were held in May, June, and November of 2019. Questions from those meetings were combined and summarized to develop the content of this comprehensive FAQ document. Please note that many of the questions were addressed during those public presentations and video recordings of them are available to view under the reports and documents section of this webpage.

Visit our Valley Water blog to learn about our community input efforts on the Coyote Creek project.

About the Project

Below are links to the project brochure and creek improvements insert, which include a project description, timeline and actions taken to reduce flood risks along Coyote Creek. 

- English: Project shell and insert

- Spanish: Project shell and insert

- Vietnamese: Project shell and insert

Valley Water completed the installation of an interim floodwall and embankment along Coyote Creek in the Rock Springs community in December 2017. This structure provides protection to the Rock Springs community from a flood event equivalent to the February 21, 2017 flood.

In addition, due to a February 2020 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) letter ordering Valley Water to immediately implement interim risk reduction measures to protect the public from risk of dam failure at Anderson Dam due to seismic activity, some elements originally planned for the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project were deemed to be needed for implementation sooner. As a result, the original Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project was split into two different components, the Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures for the FERC Order Compliance Project (FOCP), and the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project.

Progress along Coyote Creek

Since the flood along Coyote Creek in February 2017, the Valley Water Board of Directors acted on a series of short-term projects to help reduce the risk of flooding along Coyote Creek. The actions varied from immediate levee repairs and vegetation removal to advocacy for state and federal funding. In addition, the board formed the Coyote Creek Ad Hoc Committee to help steer efforts to help reduce flood risks along Coyote Creek.

Since the start of the design phase in Summer 2020, Valley Water has begun coordinating with property owners and stakeholders to collect field data where proposed flood protection elements will be constructed to aid in the design of these elements. 

The project update mailer is available for your review.

Updated September 2021.

For more information:

Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project and Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project Informational Progress Update
Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project and Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project reaches (sections).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Click or tap to enlarge map.

Reports & Documents

About the Project

Below are links to the project brochure and creek improvements insert, which include a project description, timeline and actions taken to reduce flood risks along Coyote Creek. 

- English: Project shell and insert

- Spanish: Project shell and insert

- Vietnamese: Project shell and insert

Previous Public Meeting Materials

The following presentation was provided to the San Jose Parks Advocates in January 2020. The presentation is solely focused on the proposed alternatives that would be implemented at Watson, William Street, Selma Olinder, Coyote Meadows, and Kelley parks.   

  - SJ Parks Advocates presentation

November 13, 2019: Roosevelt Community Center

November 7, 2019: Franklin McKinley School District

November 6, 2019: Golden Wheel Mobile Home Park (Club House)

June 3, 2019 Roosevelt Community Center

May 30, 2019 Franklin-McKinley School District

May 21, 2019 San Jose Conservation Corps

Coyote Creek Study Reports 

Vegetation and wildlife assessment:

A Valley Water sponsored study of the Coyote Creek historical ecology done by the San Francisco Bay Estuary Institute in 2006.

Environmental & Community Benefits

FY22-36 Key Performance Indicator for the Safe, Clean Water Program

  1. Construct flood protection improvements along Coyote Creek between Montague Expressway and Tully Road to provide protection from floods up to the level that occurred on February 21, 2017, approximately a 5% (20-year) flood event.

Benefits 

  • Protects approximately 600 parcels from the level of flooding that occurred on February 21, 2017, approximately a 5% flood

  • Improves water quality, enhances stream habitat and increases recreational opportunities

  • Provides opportunities to incorporate revegetation and aesthetic elements to the Coyote Creek park chain in the project

  • Addresses climate change

Geographic Area of Benefit 

San José - The project area is approximately 9 miles from Montague Expressway upstream to Tully Road.

Click or tap to enlarge map.
History & Background

Flooding History and Project Background

Flooding has occurred many times within the Coyote Creek Watershed, including along portions of Coyote Creek in 1911, 1917, 1931, 1958, 1969, 1982, 1983, 1997, 1998, and 2017. The largest flow recorded on Coyote Creek was 25,000 cubic feet per second in 1911, prior to construction of the current 2 water-supply reservoirs in the upper watershed. The worst flooding in the project reach since Anderson Reservoir was constructed in 1950, occurred in February 2017. Coyote Creek overtopped its banks at several locations between Montague Expressway and Tully Road. Businesses and hundreds of homes were inundated by creek waters for many hours. Highway 101 near Watson Park and various local streets were closed due to flooding, and thousands of residents had to be evacuated and sheltered.

The Coyote Creek Project is located in the central portion of the Coyote Watershed on the mainstem of Coyote Creek, within the City of San José. The original project reach extended approximately 6.1 miles between Montague Expressway and Highway 280; however, the project reach was extended approximately 2.9 miles upstream to Tully Road in 2017 to include the Rock Springs neighborhood and incorporate the areas impacted by the February 21, 2017 flood event. In addition to the primary objective of reducing the risk of flooding to homes, schools, businesses, and highways from Coyote Creek flood events, the project may evaluate opportunities to improve fisheries, stream habitat values, and public access.

About the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program

In November 2020, voters in Santa Clara County overwhelmingly approved Measure S, a renewal of Valley Water’s Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.

The program was first passed by voters in 2000 as the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, then again in 2012 as the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program. The renewal of the Safe, Clean Water Program will continue to provide approximately $47 million annually for local projects that deliver safe, clean water, natural flood protection, and environmental stewardship to all the communities we serve in Santa Clara County.

While evaluating ways to improve the 2012 program, Valley Water gathered feedback from more than 21,000 community members. That helped Valley Water create the six priorities for the renewed Safe, Clean Water Program, which are:

Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply

Priority B: Reduce Toxins, Hazards and Contaminants in our Waterways

Priority C: Protect our Water Supply and Dams from Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters

Priority D: Restore Wildlife Habitat and Provide Open Space

Priority E: Provide Flood Protection to Homes, Businesses, Schools, Streets and Highways

Priority F: Support Public Health and Public Safety for Our Community

Each year, Valley Water prepares a report providing a progress update for each of these program priorities, along with fiscal year accomplishments.

To ensure transparency and accountability to the voters, the ballot measure also created an Independent Monitoring Committee, appointed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. The Independent Monitoring Committee annually reviews the program’s progress to ensure the outcomes are achieved in a cost-efficient manner and reports its findings to the Board. Additionally, the IMC also reviews each proposed 5-year implementation plan prior to its submittal for Board approval.

In addition, the program requires three independent audits.

View the Safe, Clean Water Program’s annual reports, annual IMC audit reports, and independent audits, including a staff response, on the Valley Water website.