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Fleeting Wonders: A Football Stadium Turns Into A Waterfall

A high school football stadium in Tacoma, Washington flooded dramatically over the weekend, with water cascading down the bleachers and covering the field to a depth of several feet.

As player Ryan Wrzesien, who shot the above video, eloquently puts it: “Bro!” And also, “Look at this, I got frickin’ Birks on!”

The Stadium Bowl is a sports stadium belonging to Stadium High School, and it’s also kind of a bowl. Only the “bowl” part was a problem here—the stadium is carved out of the surrounding hill on three sides, with the other side facing a bay. During Saturday’s storm, in which 0.42 inches of rain fell in ten minutes, rainwater overpowered the city’s drainage system and ran down to fill the bowl.

This isn’t the first time the 105-year-old Stadium Bowl has sustained flooding damage. In 1981, a storm drain burst and washed away the scoreboard and end zone. The stadium didn’t reopen until 1985. This time, the city is hoping to implement a solution that will prevent the next flood—double-size drainage pipes, basically.

In the meantime, student games have been relocated, and players may want to check the weather before wearing frickin’ Birks, bro.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to edit@atlasobscura.com.