Floods at the Ponds


In February, 1996, Pullman had big floods because warm weather quickly melted a lot of winter snow.

The creeks and streams in our town flooded.

Roads were closed and school was dismissed early so children could get safely home.

Sunnyside School was a shelter where people could stay if their homes were flooded.

One of the children in our class lives next to Sunnyside Park. She gave our class a report that the small pond was flooding part of the park.



We sent email messages to our friends around the world on I*EARN (International Education and Resource Network) to tell them about the floods.

Here are some of our email messages.

We used our classroom computers to draft, edit, and publish the email messages. Parent volunteers helped us with our writing.



February 9, 1996

Dear Friends,

There are bad floods in Pullman. Grand Avenue was closed and Main Street was closed. On some streets people had to put sand bags down to stop water flowing. Sunnyside Pond was worse. Sunnyside Pond was really overflooded!!!!!!! You wouldn't believe it.

From Your Sunnyside School Friend

February 9, 1996

Dear Friends,

In Pullman it flooded. They closed Main Street because it flooded. We had to leave school at 2:15 the first day of the floods. I was excited and scared at the same time. The water was high!!!!!in a lot of places!!!!! Sunnyside Pond was flooded. In some places the water is 3 feet high and rising. The snow is melting like a foot a day. It got to 51 degrees one day. On the news they said Pullman was one of the worst places that flooded.

From Your Sunnyside School Friend

Dear Friends,

The flood is high and floods are too cold to swim in. It is winter. Some people have to go and sleep over at someone's house. The flood is too high!!!!!!!!!

from Your Friend at Sunnyside School

February 9, 1996

Dear Friends,

We had a big flood. My Mom went past Paradise Creek. It was really flooded!!! Me and my family really want it to be summer. Not just the snow is melting. It is raining so there's even more water.

From Your Sunnyside School Friend

February 9, 1999

Dear Friends,

We had to leave school early because of the floods on the street. The people at school were worried about the flood and the kids were worried too. We're safe!

From Your Sunnyside School Friend


February 9, 1999

Dear Friends,

I wanted to let you know we are okay in Pullman after the floods. We had so much flooding because our subzero temperatures quickly chnaged to above freezing and the rains began. Our winter snow was melted so-o-o-quickly that many streets became flooded. We had to dismiss school early on the worst day of the floods so children could get safely home. Sunnyside School was designated as a Red Cross Shelter and people have been here to help others. Our class loaned our crayons, paper and games to the Red Cross for children in families who needed to stay overnight at the school. Other people brought blankets. Some high school students helped with sandbags downtown where the flooding was especially bad. Pullman is a small community and at a time like this everyone helps each other. All the families in our class are safe and in dry homes.

From, Mrs. Rennebohm Franz


We received email responses from our school friends on I*EARN. One of our teacher friends in Porepunkah, Australia wrote:

"We had just finished reading [your email] and found that much was familiar. We know that writing about things like this certainly helps. We had floods here ourselves year before last. The children were able to relate to the experiences we read and many could tell similar tales about floods. Our floods made a significant impat on the community as they are a rare event for us. It is heartening to know that no matter where we are in the world, the same sense of community, willingness to help and care for each other is there. All the best from the children, teachers and community of Porepunkah"



After the danger of the floods was over, the class went to the park to see what had happened to the small pond.

At the small pond, the water flowed over the banks and into the grassy areas!

This picture shows you what the small pond usually looks like.



It is a small pond but with the floods, it became a big pond! Here is a picture of what it looked like when it flooded.





The small pond was so flooded that the blue sign at the edge of the small pond and the bench where you can sit beside the small pond were in the water. You can see the sign and bench in the water in this picture.




Mr. Davis, the City of Pullman Park Supervisor was there checking on the ponds at the same time we were there. Here he is talking to one of the park crew about the flooding of the small pond.




Here is a city person checking the small pond and the pump that pumps water from the small pond to the waterfall up at the big pond.




In Spring, after the small pond returned to normal, there was another problem.

Because of the flooding, there was lots of dirt and sand that settled into the bottom of the small pond.

The dirt and sand clogged the drain and pipes that carry the small pond water up to the waterfall.

The city needed to empty the small pond in order to clean the drain and pipes.

When the city was draining the small pond, there was another problem.

There were lots of fish in the small pond that couldn't survive without the water.

When our class learned about the problem of the fish, we decided to help.

After school one day, several children from our class who live near the pond, and Mrs. Rennebohm Franz, and some parents went to the pond with buckets to save the fish.

A lot of the water had been drained from the pond and the fish were crowded into the shallow water that was still there.

We had to place boards across the mud of the pond bottom to get to the pool of water where there were fish.

We collected the fish in buckets with water and carried them up to the big pond where we released them.

The Mr. Alan Davis (the Parks Supervisor) and the City of Pullman thanked our class for helping with the fish.


 ***All documents on our classroom web pages are copyrighted. The text and images are for educational use only. Please honor the integrity and original ownership of all text, design and images. We request that you not replicate the webpage designs nor publish the images and text without permission. For permission contact Kristi Rennebohm Franz at kfranz@psd267.wednet.edu

INDEX of Water Habitat Web Pages

First Pond Page/A Look At Photo Journals/Writing About Water Habitats/Water Habitat Quilt/First Meeting With Mr.Alan Davis/Response to Pond Floods/Observation of the Great Blue Heron/Presentation to City of Pullman/Pond Birds/Pond Trees and Shrubs/Water Habitat I*EARN Conference Keynote Address/Photo Journal August 1999/Second Meeting With Mr.Alan Davis and Mr. Fetter/Research on Plantings for New Island/Planting Grass Seeds Photo Journal October 1999/Studying Pond Macroinvertebrates/Return to Classroom Index