Highway 101 in Gilroy was shut down late Sunday night due to flooding, according to the California Highway Patrol, and was reopened about eight or nine hours later.
The freeway was closed in both directions south of Monterey Street, just after 9 p.m., and the CHP issued a Sig-alert. By 11 p.m., the southbound lanes were under about 3 feet of water. On Monday, the lanes reopened before 6 a.m.
Northbound traffic began to move around midnight, albeit slowly in one lane with a CHP escort. There was no estimated time for reopening the southbound lanes.
The closure caused a massive backup on 101, a main corridor into and out of the Bay Area. Cal Fire crews were at the scene but not in response to the flooding; they were trying to get around the closure to respond to calls, a Cal Fire official said.
Some vehicles reportedly tried to drive through the flooded area and became stuck, the CHP said.
The flooding followed a flash flood warning earlier Sunday for much of South Santa Clara County, including Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Martin, due to Uvas Creek overflowing.
Hours later, Gilroy police suggested voluntary evacuations in the city's low-lying areas. They said Wheeler Auditorium, at 270 W. Sixth St., was being set up as an evacuation center.
Second Street in downtown Morgan Hill also was flooded Sunday, and one popular restaurant, Trail Dust BBQ on Monterey Road, near Third Street had to close four hours early after a clogged storm drain caused water to rise onto the sidewalk and gush through the front door.
Also in South Santa Clara County, firefighters rescued two males who were stranded in a vehicle stuck in a flooded area of rural South San Jose, according to the San Jose Fire Department.
Fire crews received a call about 7:25 p.m. on a report of two people stuck on Bailey Avenue, betweem Spina Farms and Calero Reservoir. Firefighters initially were waiting on a boat to make the rescue but were able to pull out the two males with a rope.
Rescue crews had the situation under control by 8:15 p.m., fire officials said.