Worst natural disasters marked down in sporting history
When a natural disaster occurs many lives are disrupted. Tornados, earthquakes, snow storms, and hurricanes have forced people to find temporary homes over the last few decades, including sports teams.
1. Chernobyl, 1986
It was Sunday morning in 1986 that the FC Pripyat team came to hear the news that the big cup semi-final against FC Borodyanka would not be played. It was due to an incident which occured at the nearby Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Nuclear PowerPlant, Chernobyl.
The Chernobyl disaster released at least 400 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bomb. A 19-mile exclusion zone was set up around the plant and the people of Pripyat were never allowed to return to their homes, with many relocated around 30 miles away to the town of Slavutych.
2. Hurricane Ike, 2008
In September 2008, MLB decided to cancel the series between the Cubs and Astros because of the threat of Hurricane Ike. Minute Maid Park was playable according to the Astros, but baseball officials were concerned that it would be insensitive to Texas residents to hold the game in Houston. The first two games of the series were relocated to Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Cubs won both.
The effects and damage from Ike were widely felt. 195 people were killed as a result of the storm, 113 of which were in the U.S. Damages from this storm were over 38-billion dollars, making it the sixth costliest hurricane in U.S. history.
3. Hurricane Katrina
In 2005, many of New Orleans’ inhabitants were evacuated into the New Orleands Superdome when Hurricane Katrina struck. The home of the National Football League’s (NFL) New Orleans Saints was converted into an evacuation center, and the Saints were forced to play all their home games somewhere else for the duration of the NFL season. Just like everything else, sports takes a backseat and tries to help in alleviating suffering, when disaster strikes. Incidentally, the Saints won it all four years after Katrina.
The Hornets were also forced to move their home games during the 2005 season and played 36 games at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, three at New Orleans arena, one at the Pete Maravich Assembly center on LSU’s campus, and one at the Lloyd Noble Center at the University of Oklahoma. The Hornets went 24-17 at home.