Residents have been cleared to return to their homes in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood Thursday morning after city officials lifted evacuation orders for residents living near the Guadalupe River.
While the river is still rushing, the water level has dropped after it crested earlier in the morning, according to city spokeswoman Rosario Neaves. Meteorologists with the National Weather Service expect the river to recede from flood stage as the day continues.
Neaves said the city ordered the evacuations in abundance of caution.
"We committed with Valley Water and the county to not have an incident like 2017 (Coyote Creek) to take place again," Neaves said. "This demonstration is proof of that. We've been taking this incident very seriously."
At its height Thursday morning, the river reached the bottom of the Alma Street bridge and area residents received alerts on their phones.
San Jose police knocked on doors for people to evacuate. Residents who live between Willow Glen Way and Atlanta Avenue were advised to leave their homes with important documents, medicines and spare clothes.
San Jose resident Nadine Nelson woke up to the sound of the emergency alert on her phone.
"I got a call at four this morning so I evacuated. I was watching the news last night and I had a hunch that that was going to happen," Nelson told NBC Bay Area.
It has been two years since the catastrophic flooding of the Rock Springs neighborhood left people stranded in their homes. They city and the water district have since worked to improve their communication and gauging of the water flow.
Water Inundates San Jose Streets, Homes and Cars
Evacuee, C.J. Durbin said she has been in her home for 15 years but she had never been evacuated before. "Has it gotten all the way to the top? Yes. We’ve never had SJPD come to our door at 4 o’clock in the morning and say we’re leaving," she said.
There may still be room for improvements, according to Kelly Woodward, who helped work on the 2017 flood relief effort.
The response was better, Woodward said, but she said her friends who live by the evacuation area didn't get the text alert.
Residents who would like to receive emergency alerts from Santa Clara County can sign up on the county's website.