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Floodgate: How the Water District and City of San Jose’s Comedy of Errors Became a Local Tragedy

Published Wednesday March 1

On the 1st day of the flood, Jose Villalobos had to get his 5-year-old sister to school.

It was a few mins. after 8am, and Coyote Creek had already jumped its bank —the riverine surge creeping into the playground across the street and down the block.

The water crept up past the hubcaps and seeped into the cab as he backed out. Villalobos made it no more than a few ft. before the water hit the chassis and killed the engine. A neighbor offered to drive them out in a pickup, but the family would have to leave everything behind.

“I’m grumpy because the city didn’t say nothing,” he said. “We got no heads-up. Nothing.”

Article length: About 3870 words.
Tags: Morgan Hill
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