Continued rains in Northern California this week forced the evacuation of 14,000 residents in San Jose, one of California’s largest cities and the urban hub of Silicon Valley.
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday: “Highly contaminated floodwaters continued to pose a potential health risk to about 14,000 residents forced to flee their homes as the Coyote Creek, which runs through the heart of the city, overflowed and inundated neighborhoods.
“Floodwater likely contained fuel, oil and possible sewage, [Mayor Sam] Liccardo said.”
Officials with the National Weather Service described the event as a 100-year flood.
Rains have continued statewide in what is shaping up to be one of the wettest winters in the recorded history of the Golden State. After five years of drought, last year’s severe El Niño effect was expected to bring deluges to the parched state, but only brought moderate rains to Northern California and bypassed Southern California almost entirely. Meteorologists initially expected a dry winter season, in accord with the La Niña effect that typically follows an El Niño. However, one “Pineapple Express” after another has brought moist air from the warm Pacific over the cool North American landmass.
Dams are swollen and spilling out, or over, across the rural hinterland of the state. The San Jose flooding is the first major impact of the rainy season on an urban area. Area residents are being encouraged to stay away from their homes, even though the creek’s rise appears to have crested, because of the potentially contaminated nature of the floodwaters.
Rains are expected to return this weekend.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.