Though the South Bay is not short on billionaires who could be throwing in some cash of their own to assist the thousands of San Jose residents who were impacted by last week's flood, only one has stepped forward so far. That is Vietnamese-American billionaire Kieu Hoang, who announced a $5 million donation Wednesday to the city’s flood relief fund, as the Chronicle reports. The donation was brokered in part through a friend of Hoang's, Chieu Van, the co-founder of San Jose-based Lee’s Sandwiches, who connected him to the mayor.
Hoang is a self-made billionaire who made his fortune primarily through blood products, and his company Shanghai RAAS Blood Products. Forbes ranked him as the 214th richest person in America, and estimated his net worth last year at $2.8 billion.
Damages in San Jose that came as a result of the overflowing of Coyote Creek caused by water released from Anderson Dam in Morgan Hill are expected to top $73 million according to an initial estimate from the city, with $50 million of that private property damage.
The neighborhood most impacted in the flooding, Rock Springs, is home to a significant Vietnamese community.
The flood relief funds, which now top $6 million total, will be distributed via non-profits that have yet to be designated.
Meanwhile, emails that surfaced last week suggest that the Santa Clara Valley Water District made a grave error in releasing water from Anderson Reservoir as fast as it did. And as one does in the Bay Area when one has a major PR problem, the district has retained Sam Singer, whose firm sent out a release Wednesday on behalf of the agency pledging to seek federal assistance to prevent future floods, and saying "We will do everything in our power to prevent this from occurring again."