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Flooded stadium has gone viral, but the Somerset Patriots haven’t given up


Flood mitigation efforts have long been in and around the stadium. After Hurricane Floyd devastated nearby downtown Bound Brook in 1999, the US Army Corps of Engineers built infrastructure – holding tanks, dikes, and pumping stations – to prevent similar catastrophic flooding .

But those plans failed around 9:30 p.m. on September 1. At Bound Brook, a valve could not open because New Jersey Transit train 5451 had stalled in its track. In Bridgewater, Kevin Finnegan, a special needs employee who works in stadium maintenance, was at home with his parents when one of the walls in the family’s basement gave way to the storm surge. The water rose to the steps of the second floor and the family lost their two vehicles. Their house is uninhabitable.

“It’s crazy how destructive it was,” said Iwicki.

Relief followed. Kevin Reese, the Yankees’ director of player development, and Nick Avanzato, the franchise’s minor league operations manager, came from Tampa, Fla. To guide players and staff through insurance claims, arrange car rental and provide financial assistance. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Finnegans, and Chuck Hodgdon, owner of Stadium Graphics, has come down from New Hampshire to help replenish the outfield wall. Interns and executives worked alongside caterers and the construction team who were already on site to carry out renovations.

Everything was electrically washed including the grass to make sure the mud didn’t suffocate it. Each seat was hosed down, then hand washed and watered a second time. Purner and his team checked the pitch three times to make sure there were no weak spots. One of the last steps was the purchase of new resin bags, which pitchers are allowed to use during games for better grip on sweaty nights, as the regulars were all soaked. Before the first pitch on Friday – nine nights after Ida’s visit – Purner reverted to his typical lamentations.

“Some of my mowing lines were a bit crooked,” he said.

At that time, there were few signs that a flood had occurred, and it wasn’t until the end of the round that a musty smell spread through the stands after the wind blown. changed direction. Ahead of the ninth inning, the public address announcer noted that there would be no fireworks after the game as the launch pad was inaccessible as a result of the storm. Finally, at the end of the 12th inning, outfielder Michael Beltre sliced ​​a double in the opposite direction to left center field to lead in the winning race, and his Patriots teammates sprinted from the dugout at home to attack him close. of the second goal. Three players wore separate coolers and sprayed Beltre and the field with icy water.



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