The risk of flooding from dam failure in Los Gatos appears to be mainly from four reservoirs, all tying into the Los Gatos Creek at some point or another. Recently Clair found a great resource for better understanding this risk, and we wanted to share it with our readers.
The usual home seller disclosures include a natural and environmental hazard report, but the info does not go into deep detail. For instance, it may state that a location is in a zone of potential flooding from dam failure, but it does not tell the reader which dam it is. At times I’ve sold homes that were in that designated area but wondered whether the dam was a smaller or larger one (my concern being how much water could come through).
This site is very easy to use and to understand. The dams are marked with colors to indicate the downstream risk. Larger dams that spill into more populated areas appear to be those at higher risk, but perhaps they have a different formula for that designation.
Once you zoom in to your desired area (most counties appear to be participating, and MOST dams appear to be included in this publication), just click on the colored box and wait for the information to populate. It is sometimes a little slow, but after a few seconds it will appear.
What is the Los Gatos fire risk? This morning a good friend of mine shared a map app that is very helpful for understanding any California property’s wildfire odds. Buildings are given a color code from blue (for low risk) to dark red (for very high risk). With the fires raging in the Diablo range on the east side (from about Fremont to Gilroy), the Santa Cruz Mountains, and many other areas of the Golden State, some folks are getting nervous – even if their particular property is not close to the infernos or in a particularly dangerous location.
If you do live in the Los Gatos or Santa Cruz Mountains, you do know that the chances of fire are elevated over more densely populated areas. If your home is close to the hills or large open space that stretches into the foothills, it’s not a surprise that your risk is increased over those in the flat lands. What is your Los Gatos fire risk? Have a look at the DefensibleApp website and see what it says about your California location.
As is the case virtually everywhere else, Los Gatos has many coronavirus cancellations for upcoming events. In the last week, the number of cases of Covid-19, or the novel coronavirus, in Santa Clara County has tripled, and the county has responded by increasingly restricted the number of people who may assemble, from 1000 to 250 to 100 (under several strict conditions) over just a few days. The government, as well as business owners, religious leaders, educators, another others are cancelling all optional events. Doctors are telling us to postpone non essential surgeries. The message: as much as possible, do social distancing. Stay home, stay away from others – especially crowds where you cannot keep 3′ or better, 6′ away from everyone else.
To that end, most religious, educational, and secular gatherings are closed – part of a huge movement of coronavirus cancellations.
The Library will be closed to the public beginning March 14, 2020 until further notice.
Town administrative public counters will be available by appointment only beginning March 16, 2020 until further notice.
All public meetings scheduled for the week of March 16 through March 20 (except for the Town Council meeting) are cancelled.
The March 17, 2020 Town Council agenda has been updated to include only consent items on the agenda and the Town encourages the public to abide by Public Health guidance and avoid public gatherings.
Other coronavirus cancellations or schedule changes in Los Gatos this season
The Great Race – cancelled
The Los Gatos Wine Walk – spring Wine Walk cancelled (see you in October?)
Mountain Winery Crab Dinner (Mar 15) – cancelled
Cat’s Hill Bicycle Race (Mar 21) – cancelled
Generally, groups of 100 are more are prohibited, but all large gatherings are discouraged, so most events will be cancelled. Please check whichever event it is you are interested in with that host.
Los Gatos school closings and online learning due to the coronavirus
This situation is changing daily, so please check with whichever district or private school applies for your child. Overall, schools are closed for anywhere from 2-4 weeks as of this writing. Some are going to online learning.
For public schools, whether elementary, middle, or high school level, all are following the county’s requirement to shut the doors for the time being. Most appear to be closing school for 3 weeks, then continuing with the spring break, and re-opening on April 13th, after the break. It does not appear that public school students will have any distance learning or online education. (Many of the private schools will have distance learning employed.)
Campbell Union School District – (link is to COVID 19 statement) – “The County Superintendent of Schools announced today that all public schools in the county will close from March 16 – April 3. Consequently, Campbell Union School District will close schools to students until April 13. This includes our week of spring break.”
Union School District – (link is to COVID 19 statement) – “The Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools and all county district superintendents have decided to close schools for three weeks from Monday, March 16, 2020, through April 3, 2020….At this time we will adhere to our current calendar for spring break, which is the week of April 6, 2020, with an anticipated return date of April 13, 2020.”
Loma Prieta Joint Union School District– (link is to COVID 19 statement) Same schedule as above, 3 week closure of the school per the county, followed by normal spring break before classes are anticipated to resume.
St. Mary’s (Catholic school) – The Catholic Diocese of San Jose is closing all schools from March 13 through Friday March 27. The schools throughout the diocese, including St. Mary’s in Los Gatos, will be implementing “distance learning” beginning Monday March 16. (The school’s website says nothing, but I did know to check the DSJ site.)
Hillbrook School (private) – Hillbrook will be implementing a distance learning program also (per popup on the website) “Hillbrook School campus will close and in-person classes will be suspended starting Monday, March 16. Our distance learning program will begin Tuesday, March 17 and continue through Friday, April 3. We plan to reopen campus and resume on-campus learning on Monday, April 13.”
Los Gatos Christian School – I don’t see anything on the school’s website regarding cancellation of classes (or distance learning). However, it’s attached to Venture Christian Church, and on that site it did mention the school being closed. “LGCS will not hold classes on campus during this time. Visit lgcs.org for pertinent details and specific information related to the school.” (But the website says nothing as of this writing.)
JCC or Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos – (link to COVID-19 statement) “The JCC has shut down for two weeks, starting March 13, in an effort to protect against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). At the end of March we will evaluate the situation and determine whether to re-open at that time. ”
I know that there are other educational institutions, from pre-school to high school, not listed here. Please check your particular institution or district, especially if you did not get correspondence from your own school on this matter.
Where are the gas transmission lines in Los Gatos? Ever since the San Bruno fire, caused by a faulty PG & E gas transmission pipe line, the location of those pipes has been a concern. The power company now provides a map with that information for the major gas transmission lines. The map actually outlines info for all of Silicon Valley – and the state of California as a whole!
In Los Gatos, those lines are along Winchester Boulevard, Blossom Hill Road, University Avenue, and Roberts Road (on both sides of 17).
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