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Update On
Flood Zone Resurvey
by Ed Rast
March 2003

Fellow Neighbors:

The draft letter of support for the federal flood zone resurvey has been sent to John Gibbs, President of the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association for his and the board's review and final edit and it should probably be sent out in the next week.

Some sections of the proposed letter from the WGNA are: The below grade construction of the Guadalupe Expressway (Highway 87) in the late 1980's acts as a flood channel away from North Willow Glen from the San Jose- Tamien Light Rail Station towards Interstate 280 preventing flooding of the area which along with the soon to be completed Middle Guadalupe flood project to Interstate 280 will carry the flood waters away from the North Willow Glen area.

The proposed flood wall between the Guadalupe River and Interstate 280 should not be constructed until after that section of the Upper Guadalupe flood control project between Interstate 280 (starting in June 2003) is completed past the Damien Station area to Alma Avenue otherwise North Willow Glen homes which currently do not flood since the construction of Highway 87 will flood again due to the proposed new flood wall construction.

We are also asking that the City of San Jose, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and the appropriate federal agencies (FEMA / US Army Corp of Engineers) do section resurveys of the Upper Guadalupe River project as each 1/2 mile sections or an appropriate section is completed rather than wait until the entire Upper Guadalupe flood control project is completed in 2010 or later if delays occur due to funding or legal challenges after which a complete flood zone resurvey area is currently scheduled.

The removal of each section as completed after a resurvey will benefit the thousands of homeowners in Willow Glen and San Jose in the flood zone by saving them an average of $800 per year flood insurance as well as remove the current building restrictions on major home renovations that require the filling in of basements especially for the many historical homes in Willow Glen.

Congresswoman Zoe Lodger is aware of the issue and is currently working with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The Santa Clara Valley Water District board which will be bringing it up as an agenda item at their March 18 board meeting with the 2 board members who are aware of the issues supporting section resurveys and it is expected the entire board will support the section resurveys based on conversations with the 2 board members. Ken Yeager is also aware of our efforts to have a resurvey completed. Maria Angeles, of the City of San Jose's Public Works, who is San Jose's Floodplain Manager, has been working with the North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association and is aware of our efforts for the proposed resurvey as well as helping having homeowner's complete flood zone elevation certificates as an interim measure to reduce insurance premiums.

I will keep you informed as to the progress and will be working with Gary, the city and the water district board to get cost estimates for individual home as well as area resurveys from successful engineers who have done this work before with the water district. My conversation with the 2 water district boards members went well since I had previously meet them and one of which I have known for over 10 years and they indicated that they will support our efforts to the board. We still need to assist with the coordination effort and potential political effort with federal officials.

Ed Rast


Copyright 2003