College Creek overflows

Shelly Le

Whitman is generally a picturesque campus, with well maintained lawns and flowing fountains.   Last Sunday, Nov. 13, however, was a different story.

Around 3:30 p.m., Landscape Supervisor Bob Biles received a call from a grounds crew employee notifying him that College Creek had overflown onto Park Street.

Credit: Faith Bernstein

The culvert that runs underneath Park Street had been plugged with brush and leaves.   Consequently, water flooded over the section of the creek near Fouts Art Building and Hunter Conservatory.

“It doesn’t take but a couple of sticks and a lot of leaves to restrict the flow of water,” Biles said.

City officials were soon notified, but according to Biles, because of the weekend, response from the city was not immediate.

“We called the city dispatcher and around 8 p.m.; the culvert still hadn’t been unplugged,” he said.

The culvert was cleaned up by the city before 7:00 a.m. the next morning, and the water was able to run through the pipes as normal.   According to Biles, no damage occurred as a result of the plug.

“The flood was mainly contained to the creek and street,” he said.

Biles notes that the plug isn’t abnormal and happens around two to three times a year.

“This time of the year, with all of the wind and rain, it’s common,” he said.   “We’ll pick up around 200 tons of leaves this next month and a half, and inevitably they’ll end up in culverts, plugging them up.”