The Lakeside Youth Baseball complex has been the home field for Henrico families for more than 60 years, but the diamond looks much different Monday after it was destroyed by flooding.
Severe weather Friday night caused three nearby creeks to overflow, covering the fields and dugouts in thick mud.
“It's the worst I've seen in my time down here,” said Joe Waple.
Waple's two children play for LYB, but he also runs the concession stand. He took stock of the damage, remarking at how high the waterline was on the outfield fence.
“Where the water backed up against this fence and this screen, that’s like almost five feet,” Waple said.
Henrico crews spent Monday morning raking and blowing away leaves, branches, even garbage that floodwater carried into the fields and dugouts. They're desperately trying to get things back in shape for Wednesday night's all-star games.
The games are the culmination of a season of hard work for these young players.
“It means the world to them. To be able to make that team means they are one of the best down here,” said Waple.
It is not just the fields that were wrecked by weather. The concession stand was also filled with water - destroying everything but one freezer-worth of food.
The scene in the equipment room is another tough blow for LYB, as bags of gear are caked in mud and water-logged.
“What we have here, we are hoping we can salvage,” said Waple. “Catcher's gear, battling helmets. Those are things that not all families can afford to supply for their kids.”
Joe says the entire complex racked up thousands of dollars in damage and repairs. He's not just worried about Wednesday night's game, but replacing the damaged equipment for future seasons.
“If we don't have the gear, what are we going to do,” said Waple.
Waple says insurance will cover some costs, but not everything. He says LYB is accepting donations so they replace the food and refrigerators that were a loss.
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