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Students from Willows learn to control flooding for 'Cal Water Challenge'

Heavy rain can sometimes cause flash flooding in Northern California. It's an issue some students from Murdock Elementary School in Willows are hoping to solve and entering their idea in the statewide Cal Water challenge.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 6:49 AM
Updated: Jan 28, 2020 9:05 AM

WILLOWS, Calif. - Heavy rain can sometimes cause flash flooding in Northern California.

It's an issue some students from Murdock Elementary School in Willows are hoping to solve and entering their idea in the statewide Cal Water challenge.

Mike Buckley's students are hoping to solve a problem.

"This garden has been here for six years and three of the six years it turns into a lake," Buckley said. "We said, hey, we can control the flood while saving some of the water. So our project is flood control plus water conservation."

With shovels on hand, students like 5th grader, Leo Gonzalez is working to install a solution.

"We're getting road base and we're putting it inside the wheelbarrows," Gonzalez said.

The dirt creates a slope inside a trench where the class has already installed a drain.

"I learned that water could be like dangerous. We should save water that floods," Gonzalez said.

Michael Wyckoff is in charge of the mathematics of the project.

"We're measuring to see if it's sloped because we want to see if it can go over there," Wyckoff said.

"All that work leads here to a hole which is about five feet deep. The hole will then be filled with four storage tanks. The storage tanks will then be filled with water during the winter season.

Rebecca Orth's goal is to finish the flood control design and leave no trace it's underground.

"We had a backhoe come in to dig out the pit so when that came all the dirt ended up here," Orth said.

Gonzalez said they are grateful to have a teacher, like Mr. Buckley.

If the class wins they will receive a trip to Golden Gate National Park as well as a $3,500 grant for the classroom.

Mr. Buckley's class won this same challenge two years ago.

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Very gusty winds, dry weather, and warm temperatures are ahead for your Martin Luther King Jr. Day today. We'll be very windy, but not as warm on Tuesday. Lighter winds, cooler temperatures, and the potential for wet weather will return in your extended forecast.
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