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Woodloch Pines drenched with record rainfall; Still open for business

A torrent of rushing water damages Woodloch Pines Resort in Hawley, PA.
Contributed photo

By Fritz Mayer
August 27, 2014

HAWLEY, PA — Woodloch Pines Resort, the largest employer in Wayne and Pike counties, is still open for business and full of families despite suffering flooding of epic proportions on August 22.

A line of storms ripped through the area and one of them, what Rory O’Fee, marketing director of Woodloch, referred to as a “microburst of rain,” settled over the resort. The rain poured down for about 90 minutes, and during the last 30 minutes it fell very heavily.

O’Fee said “We’re estimating that between eight and 10 inches of rain fell during that time.

Woodloch Pines is a downward sloping mountain resort, and the slope feeds into a lake. The indoor pool complex is in a low-lying area, and so much rain fell that the drainage system, which according to O’Fee is quite expansive, was not able to handle the water.

He said, “So there was a four-foot wall of water that came crashing into the entrance of the indoor pool complex. It was so strong and forceful that it broke the steel framing of the doors leading into the complex; it just burst through.

He said the water shattered the glass, and the damage occurred during about four minutes. O’Fee said “the water caused substantial damage to 28 guest rooms, the indoor pool complex, locker rooms, racquet ball court, kids’ splash zone, a gift shop in the lobby of the pool area—all of that is going to have to be rebuilt.” Damage has been estimated at $2 million.

There were no injuries, and the flooding, which occurred at about 6:15 p.m., came at a good time, because the visitors to the resort are on a meal package, and the meal begins at 6 p.m. So most of the guests were in the dining room or making their way to it.

However, some guests were in the indoor pool area or in their rooms. They were evacuated successfully, although it was a stressful situation for some of the guests.

O’Fee said he wanted to stress that the resort is open and it is business as usual. He said the indoor pool area and kids’ splash zone are anchor attractions for the guests, “but there is so much to do here, and the rest of the property went untouched.”

In response to the remark, “It was the kind of event that seems to be happening with increasing frequency, ” O’Fee responded, “Yeah, that thing that happened on Long Island last week, I’d never heard of that before. Thirteen inches of rain in four hours.”