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San Jose man serves as Guadalupe River sentry during storms

Longtime San Jose resident keeps watch on Guadalupe River
Longtime San Jose resident keeps watch on Guadalupe River 02:34

SAN JOSE -- As heavy rain was drenching the South Bay on Sunday night, one San Jose homeowner who lives by the Guadalupe River was keeping watch.

"When I moved in here 42 years ago, this was all just weeds," said Randy Klein.

You could call Klein the Guadalupe River watcher. His neighborhood has a group chat with 33 families and everyone knows Randy is the expert.

"I'll get on there and say, 'Calm down. Just relax. This has happened before and I've seen it a lot higher than it is now and you don't need to get sandbags,'" Klein said. "And then someone will get on the app and say I would defer to Randy because he's been here the longest and he tends to know the patterns of the river."

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"It gives us a sense of peace when he chimes in and he says, 'I think we'll be OK,'" said Delia Klein, Randy's wife. "He comes out and looks and everybody takes a deep breath and trusts his judgment."

Klein said the worst he's seen it was back in the 1990s.

"The river came to within three feet of coming up over the bank," Klein said. "I remember watching trees go down and all this brown, fast-flowing water just finding its way down to the bay."

Klein comes out to check on the river often. One thing he's seen over the years and knows all too well is that nature is constantly changing. He appreciates the Guadalupe River's beauty and power.

"This comes from the mountains," Klein said. "It comes from the Santa Cruz mountains and all the way from Los Gatos area and the Guadalupe reservoir, so everything funnels into this river with a couple of other rivers that feed in. It will definitely rise as all of that water just funnels into one big channel and it has to go somewhere. This is where it ends up going."

The Guadalupe River above Almaden Expressway in San Jose is projected to rise a few feet but does not look as if it's going to come close to flood stage with this storm.

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