Storms strike Shawnee Sports Complex ahead of big soccer tournament

DUNBAR, W.Va. — The Director of Operations at the Shawnee Sports Complex is hoping the Tuesday storm surge in Kanawha County won’t affect a soccer tournament scheduled there for this weekend.

A severe storm hit Kanawha and surrounding counties Tuesday morning around 11 in the morning. The system brought a strong punch of rain and blistering winds that at times reached upwards of 90 mph. It downed numerous trees and street signs which affected drivers making their way through the area.

There’s supposed to be 200 teams travel to Shawnee this upcoming weekend for the WVFC Capital Cup, but the complex is going to need some time this week for clean up efforts in the aftermath of the storm.

Director of Operations Samantha Carney said she was heartbroken looking at the damaged soccer goals, netting and fencing at the complex Tuesday. However, there is a plan in place to get the complex back to it’s original form and ready in time for matches.

“We’re going to go ahead and get together as a team and get some support to try and get everything back together and ready for the tournament this weekend,” Carney said.

Carney heard the sirens going off about 20 minutes prior to the storms reaching the complex and blowing around trash, signs and soccer goals. The storm ripped apart fencing that separated one of the turf soccer fields and the parking lot. One of the flag poles towards the complex entrance was also severely bent.

Carney and staff members did all they could on Tuesday when there was a break in between storm systems to clean up, put away or situate items where they needed to be before they went home for the day. For the rest of the week, Carney expects her staff and some volunteers to get the complex ready for soccer matches starting Friday.

“We have a great support system and I know everyone is going to rally together,” she said.

The tournament will need the use of six full size turf fields, a few baseball fields and 30 acres of grass. Carney said they have a backup plan if too many soccer goals are damaged and not good enough to be used. She’s already been in contact with some local partners if they do in fact realize they need newer soccer goals.

Carney has already been in discussion with Kanawha County Commissioners about the next steps for the rest of this week. Updates are also expected to go out to participating coaches that are in the soccer tournament over the next few days.

“We’ve been communicating with all of our coaches just to give them an update,” said Carney.

The WVFC Capital Cup at the Shawnee Soccer Complex in Dunbar is scheduled for April 5-7.