When it Rains: Student Shares Story of Near Evacuation


Map of area identified as being prone to flooding on Valentines Day, 2019. When areas are prone to flooding, city officials try to alert all residents of the area to evacuate. (Anastasia Cervantes / Lincoln Lion Tales)

At 4:22am on February 14th, 2019, an emergency flood alert was sent out to local families in the San Jose along Guadalupe River Willow Glen Way to Atlanta Ave area.

Lion Tales talked to Collin Oakes, a junior at Lincoln High School and he told his story to us: “At 4:00am, police came knocking loudly on our door, my dad and I had to jump up. We ran out and the police were outside and there were lights flashing blue and red, it looked like a crime scene. They told us that there was risk of a flood and it was a mandatory evacuation, and we had to leave our home. We didn’t leave our home but we spent the next hour and a half stacking things a food above the ground because we didn’t know if it was going to flood or not.”

He expressed that this “kinda freaked us out.” He later said “Only our side of the street was evacuated and the other side wasn’t because they were high enough. We decided that if it were to flood, we would just go across the street.”

Collin and his family looked at the river and decided it wasn’t any higher than normal, due to the new rules put in place after the Coyote Creek flood in 2017. While his home was safe and he did not evacuate, being aware of the effects of rain and flooding are important for everyone to know about in San Jose, especially near the Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek.

Due to the immense amount of rain, emergency alerts are going to happen more frequently. Here are some tips while driving from Travelers to stay safe.

Driving in Heavy Winds

1. Anticipate gusts.

2. Notice larger vehicles.

3. Keep a firm grip on the wheel.

Driving in Heavy Rain

1. Take your time.

2. Turn your lights on.

3. Give other vehicles more space.