* 50,000 people were told to leave their homes in San Jose after Coyote Creek burst its banks on Tuesday
* 14,000 residents are subject to a mandatory order while the rest have been given an advisory to leave
* Fire fighters woke residents in the middle of the night by banging on their doors to tell them to leave
* Some were rescued from their drowning homes in dinghies to be taken out of the danger zone
* Coyote Creek runs through Silicon Valley from the San Francisco Bay and rose to 13.6ft on Tuesday
* The floods are the latest in a string of emergency situations triggered by severe winter weather in California
Engineers have been battling the punishing weather to try to fix the crumbling spillways which nearly gave way to the lake for days.
San Jose’s state of emergency was brought on suddenly late on Tuesday night. Water agencies have admitted they did not expect so much water to move downstream on Coyote Creek so quickly.
‘The water was much higher than anybody expected. The creek spilled over the banks faster and higher than anybody expected,’
San Jose flood: Map showing who can return home, and who can’t: