How to Recover When Your Field Floods
Every year there are many weather events that present major challenges the sports field manager — severe storms, tornadoes, heavy rains, flooding, or early in the season late winter snow storms and Bombogenesis Nor’easters. They all work against field managers in meeting their deadlines to have their ball fields up and running for game time, regardless of the season or sport. None of these weather events is more damaging and debilitating than a major flood on a sports field. It doesn’t matter if you have natural or artificial turf on your ball field, a flood is likely going to mean a whole lot of hard work ahead.
There are two primary types of flooding.
- Flooding from a moving body of water across your field. While this can reduce the amount of sediment that will settle out on your playing surface, it could also wash out your skinned infield if you have a baseball or softball field, depending on the speed and movement of the water. Moving water can also do tremendous damage to artificial turf by floating the turf upward and then pushing it into ripples or piles on the field surface.
- Flooding from the rise and eventual fall of a fairly stagnant pond of flood water. This type of flooding will likely deposit a layer of silt and clay wherever the flood water exists since there is no current to keep the silt and clay suspended. This layer can suffocate turfgrass and seal up even the best drainage systems depending on how thick the layer is and how quickly it can be removed after the flood event.