The amount of precipitation this winter in many parts of the United States has been staggering compared to recent years. In dryer climates, such as California and Nevada, residents have been asked to prioritize water conservation in order to relieve the ongoing drought in these areas. But with this year's record-breaking wet winter, reservoirs are filled to the brim and the ground is saturated. There simply is nowhere for the water to go other than inside houses and over roadways. Today in San Jose, that's exactly what happened.

Central areas of concern

Mandatory evacuations in San Jose relocated 200 people on February 21. Rising waters along Coyote Creek were the most highly problematic with the neighborhood of Rock Springs being the most dramatically affected. Other low-lying areas in the Coyote Creek area were subject to a less extreme, voluntary evacuation order between Capitol Expressway and Interstate 880.

Potential areas along the Anderson Reservoir may also be affected; water has not spilled over the Anderson Reservoir for 11 years. Flood waters in the worst areas of this order were high enough to cover vehicles. Residents have been advised to grab only mandatory belongings and relocate to areas of higher ground until future notice.

And the rescue list grows

Five homeless people have already been rescued from the nearby Los Lagos Golf Course when rushing water came to wash away their campsites. A list of residents from problematic neighborhoods have been rescued as well. Besides the physical destruction of the water its external surroundings, the flood water can also be extremely destructive on a chemical level for those who come in contact with it as it is contaminated with gasoline, oil, sewage, chemicals, and other debris.

The public is advised not to swim, play, or ride kayaks in it.

San Jose Fire Department Captain, Mitch Matlow, who has been working in Santa Clara County for 35 years, said that this was "the worst flooding and water rescue situation I have personally participated in." Although rain is tampering off in the area, a rain warning for the greater Santa Clara area will remain in affect until further notice. Waters are not expected to recede until at least 3 o'clock tomorrow morning.