As many as 20 people stranded by rising water, including two inside tent on 3rd hole tee box. @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/IZxqLcbKSR— Bob Redell (@BobNBC) February 21, 2017
As weeks of accumulated rainwater rushes down the spillway from Anderson Reservoir in Morgan HiIll, San Jose's Coyote Creek has swollen and flooded. The shifting and enlarged waterway is a danger to homeless people living along its banks, as demonstrated yesterday and today.
"The water was rising on both sides of a piece of land that they used to be able to walk to," San Jose Fire Department Captain Mitch Matlow described to ABC 7 one area to which his department was called yesterday. "It became an island... it wasn't an island a week ago."
At that sudden island near Beryessa road, SJFD made three rescues yesterday alone, per CBS 5. The first two, a stranded homeless couple, were hospitalized with minor injuries. "They're both very cold and they're going to go to a hospital and get warmed up and get treated," Matlow told ABC7 after they were brought to safety by boat before dashing off to assist another homeless person stranded by the flooding.
.@SJFD on the scene of a water rescue -- two people on an island in the middle of Coyote Creek. They're planning to use an inflatable boat. pic.twitter.com/zIEmp2lBqY— Jonathan Bloom (@BloomTV) February 20, 2017
This morning, the Fire Department rescued another five people from a flooded homeless encampment along Coyote Creek. "We were told there were 20 people in trees, but we don’t have an accurate count," Matlow originally told CBS 5. His department had warned the homeless people near the Los Lagos Golf Course and in trees near Lone Bluff Way that the area was unsafe and prone to flooding, he said. In the end, just five people needed rescuing.
.@SJFirefighters complete rescue of two subjects trapped on island in swollen Coyote Creek this afternoon. @SJFD #rescue #flood pic.twitter.com/BG6bpnbUUK— C-A-R-ose (@fullfirstalarm) February 20, 2017
"Everything was surrounded. It rose so fast," homeless man rescued from his campsite on rapid rising #CoyoteCreek @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/W97Tk3pIi4— Bob Redell (@BobNBC) February 21, 2017
A third person rescued, a woman, who had become separated from her boyfriend. Cold from the water but reunited with her love.@nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/Qp60uEFD6W— Bob Redell (@BobNBC) February 21, 2017
#Calfire chopper assisted in search of several people believed trapped in trees flooded by fast rising creek. @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/3DBgSXCE1g— Bob Redell (@BobNBC) February 21, 2017
#SJFD believes everyone who was stranded has been rescued. Five total. @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/dhuTLdjYYZ— Bob Redell (@BobNBC) February 21, 2017
"Everybody lost everything," one former resident of the encampment
Rain and flooding flooding has necessitated further rescues across the region. In Livermore, for another example provided by NBC Bay Area, 10 people were rescued from rising waters, and eight more from their car, which was at Las Positas College.
Related: Tuolumne County Reservoir Spillway In Use For First Time In 20 Years