The recent rash of inclement weather might have put a damper on the moods of students and faculty, but for the MSU Athletics Department,it’s been especially inconvenient.
The rain has caused a slew of game cancellations and postponements, including today’s baseball game against Ball State being relocated to Lansing’s Cooley Law School Stadium.
Between softball and baseball, eight home games have been cancelled or postponed.
After experiencing 4.52 inches more than the average amount of rainfall this month the Red Cedar River has reached a height of 7.86 feet. The rise in water puts the river into the minor flood category, Mark Walton, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, said. More showers are expected throughout the week starting today, with between a half inch and an inch of rain expected, he said.
Secchia Stadium and McLane Baseball Stadium at Old College Field were affected by the flooding. The outfields of both venues have been transformed into virtual swimming pools and Secchia Stadium has developed a moat guarding its entrance way.
“Softball was really the only one that sustained any damage, and we are making an assessment right now of what we need to do to fix it,” Athletic Turf Manager Amy Fouty said.
“All I really need to do is let it dry and clean it up. I was expecting worse to be honest.”
It will be a few weeks before the costs are added up from flooding damage, Fouty said.
“Because we know that this can happen, the university is prepared for the required funding when we do encounter these events,” Foutysaid.
The design of the fields were built with compressions to accept water and keep flooding to a minimum.
Despite the unexpected amount of rain, the design worked and functioned as expected, Fouty said.
After water levels at McLane Stadium receded greatly during the past few days, MSU head baseball coach Jake Boss is optimistic about hosting Purdue this Friday.
“There are times we have to move some games around, or cancel some games, move them to different days — happens all the time,” Boss said. “We just have to try to remain flexible. We have good facilities to work with and the guys are still in good spirits, so it’s not a major setback.”