Nova Scotia

Flood-damaged Sydney ballpark fully repaired

The Susan MacEachern Memorial Ball Park was extensively renovated last spring, but was damaged during October's flood.

Field extensively renovated last spring was under 2½ metres of water during flood

Susan MacEachern field is ready to go now that extensive flood damage has been repaired. (George Mortimer/CBC)

A Sydney baseball field extensively renovated less than a year ago but badly damaged during last October's flood is now fully repaired thanks to $200,000 in work.

The field at Susan MacEachern Memorial Ball Park was under 2½ metres of water following the Thanksgiving Day storm, according to Allan Clarke, the buildings manager for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

"The pitchers mound, the infield, which is all artificial turf and rubber, we had to examine underneath with a video camera and make sure the lines were clear so the drainage would get away," he said.

"The outfield had to be vacuumed, aerated, fertilized and top dressed. Both bullpens on both sides had to be taken out and relayed and the pitchers mound put back in."

$750K renovation last spring

The municipality had already spent $750,000 on the ballpark last spring to add artificial turf, a bigger playing field, new dugouts and bullpens.

The damage caused by the Thanksgiving Day storm was covered by insurance, Clarke said, and tallied "well over $200,000."

Jim 'Rico' MacEachern, the coach of the Sydney Sooners, can't wait for the start of another baseball season now that the flood damage at Susan MacEachern Memorial Ball Park has been repaired. (George Mortimer/CBC)

The landscaping company that did the original work at the field responded quickly following the flood and made the repairs, according to Jim "Rico" MacEachern, coach of the Sydney Sooners. The ballpark is home field for the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League team.

"We are very fortunate that it wasn't contaminated with the negatives that it could have been," said MacEachern, "and the outfit that installed the field, they brought a team in and they were able to bring it back in. 

"They tell me it will be as pristine as when they handed it over to us last June." 

MacEachern said spring training is just around the corner.

"I'm looking forward to May to get back at the field, as are all the ballplayers."

The Sooners's first game of the 2017 season is scheduled for June.

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