Wheeling Island Stadium Turf At Risk

WHEELING — If the National Weather Service flood projections prove correct, the recently renovated Wheeling Island Stadium may be at risk, with the artificial turf playing surface of particular concern.

Wheeling Park High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Dwaine Rodgers said information he received Friday indicated the Ohio River flood will allow water to reach the edge of the field.

If the flood ends up being worse than projections indicate, water could cover the field. It’s also expected the waters will be slow to recede — leaving the water to permeate the artificial turf for more than a day.

The current turf was installed there in 2015 at a cost of $355,255. Last year, the stadium saw another $407,000 worth of structural improvements after some concrete panels at the top of the stadium cracked.

At the stadium Friday, workers moved lockers and sports equipment to get them away from the flood.

Also on Wheeling Island, school officials took items out of the basement at Madison Elementary School and moved them to upper floors.

Meanwhile, the transportation garage in the Fulton area of Wheeling also is in a low-lying area prone to flooding. Ohio County Schools Transportation Director David Ziegler said buses normally parked there were being moved from the garage on Friday, and taken up to Wheeling Park High School’s parking lot.

While a few bus routes had to be reworked Friday because of closed roads, students arrived at their schools without incident, according to Ziegler.

Ohio County Schools Communications Coordinator Gabe Wells said Madison Elementary and Wheeling Island Stadium were the only two school-owed properties expected to be impacted by flooding.

“Anything that has the potential to be reached by flooding has been moved to higher ground,’ he said. “It’s going to be moved above what has been predicted just to be safe.”

Staff writer Scott McCloskey contributed to this report.

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