Repairs begin after Ike cuts up roughon course
Tuesday 16 September 2008
A clean-up operation was under way at the Ryder Cup venue yesterday after the remnants of Hurricane Ike ripped through Louisville. Kentucky's governor, Steve Beshear, declared a state of emergency when winds gusting up to 90mph on Sunday afternoon caused two deaths – one a 10-year-old boy mowing the lawn at home when a tree hit him – and left hundreds of thousands without power, possibly for more than a week.
At Valhalla, where Europe start their bid on Friday for an unprecedented fourth successive victory over the Americans, a television tower crashed onto the 12th green. Trees were also brought down, two roofs in the tented village area were damaged and flagpoles bent over.
As most of the European team flew out from Heathrow on a special airbus direct to Louisville, the championship director, Kerry Haigh, said: "The clean-up is going well. We have a lot of people working hard to be ready for tomorrow."
Today is the first day of official practice, although J B Holmes, one of two Kentuckians in the United States side, was already at the course and working on his game yesterday.
"I was going to play yesterday, but as I got here a roof blew off in front of the hotel and then a guy told us the power lines were down," Holmes said. "The wind was about 50-60mph then and I thought that it was not going to do me much good to go out on the course.
"You don't see this a whole lot around here. If you have 75mph winds there are not going to be many trees about and there are a lot of them here. I heard that the 12th green had some damage on it. There's not much you can do about wind."
The back part of the 12th green had been gouged by crashing metal from the television tower, but by mid-morning replacement sections of turf had already been laid by greenkeeping staff.
Roughly 280,000 people, were without power in the Louisville area. Hotels were plunged into darkness and drivers were warned about taking cars on to the roads, not just because of closures caused by trees falling and because traffic lights were out of action. At daybreak police were out operating traffic control at busy crossroads. Louisville's airport had to be closed for a while and many schoolchildren were told to stay at home.
Latest in Sport
Alvaro Morata non-celebration: Real Madrid tried to stop Juventus striker playing against them
Juventus vs Real Madrid - Champions League LIVE! Latest score and updates from semi-final first leg
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 player ratings: Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata on target - but who scored highest?
Gareth Bale performance slammed by Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Lee Dixon: 'His team-mates can't be happy'
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
- 1 Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Length of pregnancy can vary by up to five weeks, scientists discover
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show