Pleasant Grove ceremony remembered June 2008 flood

Children from FFY plant serviceberry trees in the Pleasant Grove orchard in memory of the 2008 flood anniversary. WRB photo

City officials and residents gathered in the Pleasant Grove neighborhood Thursday evening to remember the 10th anniversary of the June 2008 flood.

Judge Jim Worton was Columbus police chief during the 2008 flooding. He said that the day is etched into his memory.

Police were cut off by water over roadways and overwhelmed with calls for assistance, Worton recalls.  He said as Columbus Regional Hospital flooded, there were desperate requests to help evacuate the patients, but the police department had no officers to send.

Emma Edwards was a kindergartner when the flood of 2008 hit and a second grader at CSA Lincoln Elementary when her class was approached with a project — to try to figure out what to do with the green space left behind in the Pleasant Grove neighborhood. That’s after 48 destroyed homes were bought out in a FEMA funded project, the land cleared and the property turned over to the city.

Edwards said that students settled quickly on the idea of a park. But they they went about the approval process, including gathering input from the community.

Going through the approval process for the park meant meeting with city officials, who were pretty easy when it came to approvals. But then came approvals from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

That idea turned into the Puddles to Park orchard where 10 new serviceberry trees were planted in the park yesterday in recognition of the anniversary.

Now a sophomore at CSA New Tech High School, she said that she is glad to see the park moving to its next phase — the creation of a pollinator park and other amenities.