After four feet of water entered their boathouse during Tropical Storm Ida on Sept. 1, Temple University crew is preparing to repair hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to their dock, boat launches and boat shells, which has kept the team from practicing, said head coach Brian Perkins.
The team will need to replace its 350-foot dock, which is expected to cost upwards of $300,000. Temple Athletics is waiting to hear how much insurance coverage they will receive to make the repair, and is considering purchasing a temporary dock in the meantime, said Larry Dougherty, the senior associate athletic director for strategic communications.
Temple also needs to either replace or repair five of the boat shells, which fluctuate in price between $50,000 to $60,000, and each of the Owls’ damaged launches cost nearly $20,000 per launch, Dougherty added.
The boathouse’s locker room was also severely damaged during the storm, with the water, mud, lawn waste, chemicals, black water and sewage waste ruining the team lockers, Perkins said.
“There were between six inches to a foot of mud everywhere in the boathouse,” Perkins said. “There was lots of water damage on the computers and the locker room. All the equipment that was found on the ground got ruined.”
The boathouse is now clean, but the lockers need to be put back. All of the team’s tools and shoes need to be either sanitized or replaced because they contained black mold from the water, Perkins said.
Temple held their first practice on water just hours prior to the storm. Little did they know that the city of Philadelphia would soon have its largest flood since 1869, NPR reported.
The Owls have not been on water since the flooding due to the damages.
“I was pretty sad at first,” said junior heavyweight Carver Schildt. “It was a big hit because we were about to get back on the water and because it happened to us for the second time in a year. This time was way worse than last time.”
Perkins wants to get their athletes back out on the water as quickly and safely as possible as he understands the limited window his athletes have when it comes to their sport, he said.
Other local schools, like La Salle University and Saint Joseph’s University, had up to 10 feet of water in their boathouses, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported
“This storm has impacted lots of states and cities,” Dougherty said. “I’m thankful that there was no loss of life here and that all we’re looking at is repairing and replacing some equipment.”