A tree crushed the shells on this rack.
NISKAYUNA — A falling tree in fast moving storm Sunday's crushed seven Niskayuna Rowing boats, destroying them, officials said.
Projected replacement costs are expected to be more than $100,000, program director Stacy Apfelbaum said Monday.
Thunderstorms with winds as high as 50 miles per hour hit the Capital Region resulting in Niskayuna and Clifton Park reporting damage and causing power outages to more than 10,000 that lasted into Monday morning. The were no reported injuries.
"We have lost 40 seats for athletes which need to be replaced for the fall season," said Program Director, Stacey Apfelbaum. While Niskayuna Rowing receives some support from the school district, all equipment is purchased the club with funds raised by athletes and their families.
Insurance will cover part of the replacement costs, but significant funds will need to be raised to get everyone back on the water.
Apfelbaum found out about the incident Sunday evening after a storm came through Niskayuna and Schenectady. She described the tree that did the damage as "huge." It took out the coxed quad boats at Aqueduct Park; boats that were specialized for the organization's middle-school rowers.
The boats, she said, are uncommon and there haven't been similar models in 25 years. While they were "somewhat" insured, they were not fully covered, she said. Saratoga Small Craft Repair deemed them unsalvageable, she said.
A closer look at the damage
Now, Niskayuna Rowing is looking for help.
"Boats have had fires, trailers have flipped, but I've never seen anything like this before," Apfelbaum said.
The organization is currently wrapping up its summer lessons program and preparing for a two-week hiatus before returning in mid-August.
Apfelbaum has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to replace the damaged boats. Niskayuna Rowing currently has a total of 21 boats, aside from the damaged boats, and other local organizations, including Saratoga, Burnt Hills and Shenendehowa rowing teams, have already offered their boats to rent.
Still, Apfelbaum hopes to replace the boats with the community's help. She says her organization focuses on "building teamwork and character" to over 100 kids in the community, and she wants to "continue to offer that" with replacements.