Storm floods Vallejo gym as non-profit center looks to rebound

VALLEJO (KTVU) -- The strong winter storm that soaked the Bay Area on Thursday is being blamed for flooding a Vallejo gymnastic center, the city's only non-profit gym that hosts over 700 gymnasts and 84 competitive camps for children.

Coaches from the North Bay Athletic Association worked Friday to clean up the gym as they grappled with water that came up to their knees in what had previously been the landing pit for gymnasts.

"I'm a little devastated and very overwhelmed," said head gymnastics coach Susan Goodmanson. "If you look around it is home to these kids. I don't know what to do right now."

Several areas of the Bay Area saw heavy rain with downtown San Francisco receiving 1.28 inches of rain while Lake Merritt received 1.96 inches of precipitation. Ben Lomond Mountain received 7.34 inches of rain.

In Vallejo, rainfall from the storm began seeping inside the gym. And it kept coming in.

"We started sandbagging like crazy," Goodmanson said. "And it just went faster than we could sandbag." 

"I was here last night when there was water coming in and there was nothing you could do about it," said parent David Oliver.

The staff, coaches, even some gymnasts came to help salvage at least some of the expensive mats and other equipment. On Friday, it was still unclear how much damage there had been done to the gym's floors.

"Under this foam are boards with springs on them and underneath is the framework," Oliver said. "And if the framework is wet we have to take everything off."

The NBAA has operated for more than 40 years on Mississippi Street. It's a non-profit gym that also offers low-cost child care.

Training for upcoming competitions was set to begin over winter break. Those practices are now being moved to gyms in nearby towns.

"We were supposed to have winter camp and I don't know what those kids are going to do because they are part of our community and where are they going to go for the week.

The staff said the gym has flooded twice before. They would like to find a new location but that could be expensive.

"We are all going to be working and trying to raise funds to repair everything," said coach Michelle Frederickson.

The gym has set up a GoFundMe account and is looking to raise $75,000. Staffers say it could take weeks to get the gym up and running again.  >>>>>For the GoFundMe link: Click here

By KTVU reporter Rob Roth.

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