As thousands of South Bay residents evacuated neighborhoods during heavy rain and flooding in late February, Local 21 Members assisted in efforts to prepare for the storm, keep the region updated, shelter those affected, and repair afterward.
Many Association of Engineers and Architects Members from various departments in the City of San Jose, including Transportation, Public Works and Environmental Services, and others, all helped by providing technical assistance in response to the flood. Steven Pagan, senior civil engineer in the Public Works Department, covered a 7-hour graveyard shift in DOT’s Department Operation Center, gathering data from fellow City Association of Management Personnel Members who managed staff driving the Coyote Creek corridor collecting real-time information about the limits of the flood and street closures. This information, along with recommendations, was forwarded to the City’s Emergency Operations Center. The next night, Steven, also AEA President, covered a 12-hour graveyard shift in the EOC, to coordinate post-flood response with other City departments, and the EOC manager (photo below). Many AEA and CAMP Members volunteered to work long days to help the City respond to this crises.
Aaron Baker, Water Supply Operations Manager at the Santa Clara Valley Water District, was involved in emergency work to repair a breach on the Coyote Canal in Morgan Hill, which completely flooded all northbound lanes of Highway 101 and shut down traffic for about 24 hours just south of San Jose. The repair was performed by creating a new breach upstream of the area where the canal first breached to divert flows back into Coyote Creek, and a berm was built to prevent water from flowing onto Highway 101. Aaron is a Member of the Professional Management Association. In the photo below, Aaron is being interviewed by members of the media.
Association of Maintenance Supervisory Personnel Members at San Jose’s Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility monitored the increased incoming flow of storm run-off and made sure it didn’t overrun the sewage treatment operation. The Facility cleans and treats sewage water from cities like San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas and Los Gatos. The water is recycled for irrigation, industrial usage or released into the South San Francisco Bay.
Thank you to AEA’s Steve Pagan, AMSP’s Steve Contreras, PMA’s Gary Nagaoka, and others for compiling these stories. We know many more Local 21 Members helped and continue to help with the flood relief — we are very proud of everyone involved.
How to Help Flood Victims: Monetary donations are the most needed. To help those displaced with rebuilding, please donate to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund.