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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Cloudburst pummels area resort

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  • REGION – A powerful thunderstorm ravaged the area Thursday night, bringing lots of rain, flood and even power outages.
    Some areas were hit worse than others.
    PPL Electric Utilities has been in a storm emergency since 5 p.m. Thursday night. As of Friday afternoon there were 691 customers without power in Wayne County.
    Pike County had 26 people customers without power.
    For the most part, Wayne County lucked out in terms of damage and flooding.
    Nothing was reported to our office,” said Pete Hooker, deputy director for the Wayne County Office of Emergency Management. “Some fire departments in northern Wayne County went to assist Susquehanna County.”
    Fire companies throughout the county commented on the storm.
    Everyone around us got hammered but we didn't,” said Tony Franklin, fire chief for the Beach Lake Fire Company.
    He added the storm came through hard but the fire company didn't receive calls.
    Over in Lake Ariel the fire company didn't get any calls either.
    There was no damage,” said Roger Dix, fire chief for Pleasant Mount Emergency Services. “We had a little bit of rain, but there were no calls, trees down or anything like that.”
    Ray Rutledge, Equinunk Fire Company president, said as far as he knows there were no problems in that area.
    Up north around the Delaware River and Callicoon, NY they had a pretty good storm, but I'm told there was no damage,” he said. “There's nothing we received word of.”
    Business affected
    In Pike County, Woodloch Pines Resort met its match.
    Hawley Fire Department Chief Scott Mead said Hawley didn't have any flooding, but Woodloch was hit more.
    We experienced a flash flood last night around 6 p.m.,” said Rory O'Fee, marketing director for Woodloch Pines Resort.
    He said it started raining around 5 p.m. for a solid two hours.
    Around 6 it was like a micro burst of clouds fell on top of the property,” O'Fee stated. “It laid so much water down.”
    The damage took place at the Springbrook building.
    Page 2 of 3 - Woodloch doesn't have official measuring tools to say what the total was.
    In 56 years of being open we never experienced something like this before,” O'Fee said. “The indoor pool area of the property is at a low point.
    The drainage ditches, which are pipes that are four feet in diameter and flow underneath the building, became so flooded that they crested a three and a half foot wall.
    The water was rushing at the property. It was pretty significant.”
    O'Fee added the water was so powerful it busted through steel framing of the doors and rushed into the lobby.
    The gift shop was basically destroyed,” O'Fee explained.
    It also impacted the indoor pool area, locker rooms and 28 guest rooms.
    Aftermath
    Crews have been working around the clock,” he stated. “The staff has been all hands on deck cleaning up Thursday to what it is now.
    They've been working hard at cleaning up. They're extremely efficient at what they're doing and are doing a great job taking care of it.”
    The storm happened at a time where guests were already at dinner or were starting to go to dinner, so there weren't many in the pool.
    The staff acted extremely quickly,” O'Fee said. “Our safety services division and lifeguards were on site within an instant, making sure everyone was evacuated expeditiously.”
    O'Fee added nobody was hurt and guests' possessions didn't get ruined.
    By the time water got into the guest rooms it was around six inches,” he said. “There wasn't too much damage there.”
    Although Woodloch doesn't have an estimate yet, O'Fee said there's going to be a significant amount of damage. He said it could be near a million dollars.
    He also said they have great insurance and hopes they will be all right.
    Guests who were affected were relocated to other areas on the property.
    Nobody had to leave the property,” O'Fee stated. “Everyone was accommodated within Woodloch. They did what they had to do, went to the show [Thursday night] and are back to having fun. It's business as usual.”
    Page 3 of 3 - Although the situation is unfortunate, O'Fee is thinking positively.
    It gives us a chance to upgrade and put a new face on it,” he said. “It will be better than it was.
    Everyone has a positive outlook on it. It's unfortunate it happened, but mother nature is a force that can't be stopped. We have to take it for what it is, rebuild and make it better than what it was.”
    Safety first
    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) said it rained really hard in Wayne County, but most of the damage was in Pike and Susquehanna Counties.
    Any state road closures are in Pike and Susquehanna Counties,” said James May, community relations coordinator for PennDOT.
    He said PennDOT is doing a lot of visual inspections of the bridges, especially where they know water went onto the bridge.
    That's one of the things we're doing right now to ensure there aren't any issues with any of the bridges, primarily in Susquehanna, Pike and Wayne Counties,” May stated.
    He said it's a good time to remind people about being safe in stormy weather. PennDOT's slogan is “Turn Around, Don't Drown.”
    If you're driving and come to standing water, turn around and don't try going through it,” May said. “If you have to go out during a storm, make sure you have a kit prepared before you head out in case you get to a spot where you can't get through.”
    He added if you see downed wires on the road, don't go near them. Call your utility company or local emergency responders.
    If you see problems with roads you can call 1-800-FIX-ROAD. PennDOT will direct you to the Wayne County office and let them know of any issues.
    May said most of the the damage they saw was in Pike and Susquehanna Counties. He also said none of the current road constructions have been affected from what they've seen so far.

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