By Steven Penn —
Counties all around Hendricks experienced similar flooding or worse, with numerous roads being closed. In neighboring Boone and Montgomery counties, some residents living along Sugar Creek had to be rescued by boat.
One of the hardest hit areas here was the Avon Junior Athletic Association diamonds at 866 S. C.R. 625 E. D.J. Payne, AJAA Little League baseball director, said all but two of the diamonds are flooded.
“From what I saw from the pictures, we have 11 diamonds down
there and nine of them, the infields were 100 percent underwater,” he said.
Payne added that gauging by how high up the water was on the fences and equipment shed, it was probably close to three feet high.
“The only two fields that don’t have the infield entirely covered are the two closest to C.R. 625 and kind of the farthest away from the creek,” he said.
Payne said in his 10 years of being at the diamonds, this is the worst flooding he’s seen.
“We’ve actually lost one of our tee-ball diamonds in the back to some erosion back there and I’m guessing we may lose our second one back there with this bout,” he said. “In the 10 years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen anything this bad. Some of the messages I’ve seen floating around back and forth today talk about either 2004 or either 2001 being a pretty big flood down there, but in my 10 years, this is as bad as I’ve ever seen it — by far, not even close.”
As for where to go from here, Payne said he’ll meet with some of the other AJAA officials to figure out an action plan.
“The softball director ... and myself, our grounds folks, and then officers will get together sometime over the weekend and develop a plan,” he said. “We’re closed for the foreseeable future ... once the water recedes there’s going to be a lot of work.”
Payne anticipates a lot of AJAA equipment may be ruined, but the main office building was unaffected.
“Our main office building, which houses the concession stand, the main restrooms, the garage where we store the heavy equipment, and then upstairs is where the administrative office is, that building apparently is dry and didn’t take on any water,” he said. “But I think that’s the only thing dry down there.”
Payne said he hopes the flooding won’t affect the start of the AJAA season.
“Our opening day is scheduled for a week from (today),” he said. “I don’t even know looking forward what that will look like. We want to make sure the fields are ready and that they’re safe and they’re ready to play. If at all possible, we’d like to keep the schedule as it is.”
He said that anyone who would like to donate money and/or time may check the AJAA website at www.AJAAonline.com for information about how to get involved with the cleanup process.
“We haven’t had anything to this extent in a long time,” Payne said. “I’m fairly convinced with the families we serve that we’ll be up and going as quickly as possible. We have 690 or so boys registered for baseball and another probably 375 girls registered playing softball. That’s the impact of what’s going on is to them, it’s not to us.”