San Jose

San Jose Flood Victims Want Answers, Need Basics

As the city and water district officials quarrel over whose at fault in the historic San Jose floods last month, many victims are looking for much simpler answers, such as money, food and a place to live.

There are 23 families staying at a Best Western hotel off Highway 101, all still in desperate need of life's essentials.

"We don't have a life no more," flood victim Rosario Soliz said. "You can't have a life like this."

For three weeks, Soliz and her family have been living at the Best Western after being forced out of a shelter. They've also been making multiple trips to the hospital for Soliz's daughter.

"She got an infection in her lungs and chest because of the contamination of the water," Soliz said.

The victims' hotel rooms are paid for by the victims relief fund, and Catholic Charities is trying to place them in affordable housing.

"We've been working with great landlords in the area, and we'd love more landlords to come on board," said Lindsey Caldwell, Catholic Charities program manager.

The victims also are angry about the lack of warning when the floods hit in mid-February, and officials with the city of San Jose and Santa Clara Valley Water District continued to point the finger at each other.

But while victims certainly would like a resolution with the warning system, they say what they need more is help.

"We're just trying and looking for a place, where to go and live," Soliz said. "But everything's so expensive. There's nothing."

The average affected household is getting around $3,000 from the victims fund but some of the victims say rent, car replacement, clothes and food all add up, and they've seen nowhere near that kind of money.

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