Flood Waters Rising in Residential Area of Walla Walla, Walla Walla Flood Control Commission Photographs, 1931, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.
For three harrowing days in 1931, Walla Walla’s streets turned into rivers, alleys into streams, and curbs into waterfalls. The image above is one of a series of photos taken by the Walla Walla Flood Control Commission and collected by the Washington State Archives. The flood began on March 31st and was caused by nearby Mill Creek overflowing into the city. It damaged roads, bridges and many automobiles. Damage was estimated at around one million dollars. Mercifully, only one fatality was reported. Following the disaster, the Army Corps of Engineers dammed Mill Creek, preventing future flooding. The Walla Walla Flood Control Commission Collection is a testament to the power of nature and a reminder to always be vigilant.