Several Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low Class A; Midwest League) staffers were injured yesterday when 80-mph winds blew a tarp they were attempting to place over the field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Three staffers suffered concussions, while Assistant General Manager Scott Wilson dislocated his left shoulder.
The injuries came yesterday afternoon in the ninth inning of a 3-3 tie between Cedar Rapids and the Clinton LumberKings. Heavy storms ripped through eastern Iowa and southern Wisconsin, causing havoc throughout the region. From KCRG.com:
“We heard the warning and that the storm was going to be here at 3:07,” [GM Doug] Nelson said. “So we went out to talk to the umpires. When they heard it was a warning, it was a no-brainer, let’s pull everybody off the field. This was about 2:45, so we thought we had at least 10 minutes, which is more than enough time to get the tarp on. But we didn’t have 10 minutes. It came up on us much faster.”
One wind gust prevented the full unrolling, then another blew the tarp into the air, knocking people to the ground and the tarp over them. [Groundskeeper Jesse] Roeder and Nelson were included.
“I was in the middle, Doug was right next to me,” Roeder said. “At first, the wind kind of stopped the tarp as we were starting to pull it. We got it going again, but it must have picked up behind us.
“All I remember is it came up from behind me, smacked me in the head and knocked me and other people down. People were trying to crawl out from underneath it, we had some of my guys trying to get people out from underneath it. Then it starts pouring rain.”
Judging by the force generated by the storm, thank goodness there were not more serious injuries.
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