Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

College Creek overflows

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.”



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    AriNov 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Bob Biles is the man!

    “‘It doesn’t take but a couple of sticks and a lot of leaves to restrict the flow of water,'” — that’s pure poetry!

    Bob should be interviewed for every Pio edition, and every student should get a chance to learn from the man.

    I half-expected this article to end with,

    “Fed up with the situation at 8:00 PM, Mr. Biles tore off his shirt and dove into the freezing water. He emerged soon after, having removed the sticks and debris that had blocked up the drain, and freeing the great creek.

    “I also defeated a water demon while I was down there; seemed like the right thing to do,” Biles said while roasting a duck over an open spit.