The torrential downpours Clark County experienced on Nov. 5 caused catastrophic flood damage for local homeowners, farmers, and businesses. The floodwaters also caused heartbreaking destruction to the well-loved ballpark in Donnelsville used by generations of the tiny community’s children.
“The entire ballpark was under about 8-12 inches of water, maybe more,” explains Donnelsville Baseball & Softball Association (DBSA) President, Natalie Jackson-Mumma. Donnelsville’s ballpark is located at 151 N. Hampton Rd. in Donnelsville; the damage occurred when Donnels Creek breached its banks along that area.
Donnelsville’s ballpark is more than 50 years-old and is home to 12 baseball and softball teams. Players range between 4-17 years-old. Many families have their third or more generation playing on the fields. Jackson-Mumma explains how young players worked hard on a fundraiser last season to pay for the expensive professional refurbishing of the ballfields, work the flooding destroyed.
“Just one week before the flood we had both fields professionally redone with all new Raider dirt and re-leveled...now that money was literally tossed into the river. There are craters and holes all over the fields and pretty much all the dirt has been washed away...as of now, our ballfields are ruined.”
The damage was not just limited to the surface of the ballfields. The powerful currents tossed logs and other heavy debris into the fencing and dugouts; damaging both and possibly making the dugouts unsafe for use. Water seepage into the concession stand and tool shed either destroyed or damaged flooring, appliances, sporting equipment, a mower, and other tools.
As of this writing, Jackson-Mumma estimates the damage at the ballpark to be between $15,000-$18,000. That amount may rise upon closer evaluation of the damage done to the concession stand and tool shed.
The DBSA is only allowed to carry insurance during the regular ball season. The park is owned by Bethel township, which does not carry flood insurance for the property.
In spite of the extensive damage, Jackson-Mumma guarantees Donnelsville’s children will still be able to participate in a 2018 ball season, “With winter coming, it will be hard to get much done, but we will have the park ready for the 2018 baseball/softball season!”
“(All) the donations will go directly towards repairing the ballfields, and our ball families will be forever grateful!” promises Jackson-Mumma.
More information about the Donnelsville ballpark’s damage and clean-up efforts may be found on the Donnelsville Baseball & Softball Association Facebook page.