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Floods in the east and blackouts in the west make it a tough day for theme parks

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Published: September 8, 2011 at 9:13 PM

The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee are flooding communities from the Ohio Valley into upstate New York, including some popular theme parks.

Hersheypark will remain closed through the weekend, due to floodwaters that have inundated the park and surrounding community. The flooding at the adjacent ZooAmerica in Hershey has captured the most public attention, after zoo officials put down two bison that were trapped by the rising water. The incessant rain has flooded Knoebels amusement park in Pennsylvania as well.

Over here on the west coast, we're dealing with our own, though thankfully much more minor, disruption to some local theme parks. A massive power outage has cut electricity to more than a million people across San Diego and southern Orange Counties, affecting both Legoland and SeaWorld San Diego. Both parks remained open until the scheduled closing times this evening, though the had to evacuate riders when the power went out initially, and SeaWorld had to do without some of the technical effects at its early evening Shamu show. We'll have to see if power comes back by morning, and, if not, if that will affect the parks tomorrow. (Update: Open as usual.)

Readers' Opinions

From steve lee on September 9, 2011 at 6:20 AM
Add Dutch Wonderland and Cedar Point to the list of parks hit by the flooding. It doesn't sound like Cedar Point got it too bad BUT I wouldn't plan on riding Top Thrill Dragster this weekend.
From Betty Rohrer on September 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM
Dutch Wonderland is planning on opening this weekend as planned only one small ride closed from their facebook page. i plan on being at work.
From Dominick D on September 9, 2011 at 9:11 AM
You see, this is why you should never mess around with the East Coast, West Coasters :)
From Brandon Mendoza on September 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM
I was just thinking of how I don't think I'd want to be in one of the aquariums in Sea World when the power went out! Yeah, it'd be confusing since there are no windows in those places, but all of the screaming kids? Oy vey... I remember when the theater I was watching Cars 2 screwed up and just shut off the lights and didn't start the film properly. Kids started crying so much!

Oh, that and be in the middle of dental work!

From Bobby Miller on September 9, 2011 at 10:06 AM
For anyone interested in seeing the damage here in Pennsylvania, link onto wnep.com out of Wilkes Barre/Scranton. They have plenty of video of Northeast and Central Pennsylvania on their site. I have Hersheypark and Knoebels on my facebook and they're sending out pictures of the flooding. Hershey looks pretty bad especially Comet Hollow from the photos they've posted. And Knoebels, what can I say but wow!!! I only live 8 miles from there but we have a state of emergency and can't get over to see the damage. Many of the roads in this part of the state are closed because of the flooding. Even the Interstate Highways were closed for awhile it's that bad here and the Susquehanna River still has not crested.
From Deidre Dennis on September 9, 2011 at 6:31 PM
I'm curious. What happens to the people who purchased tickets and the parks have to close due to the weather? I imagine some parks say 'schedule is subject to change' but I'm just curious. We generally have to travel at least 1,000 or more miles to get to a decent park and I'd be TICKED if I got to one of these parks and it was closed. Might think about pulling a Clark W. Griswold if that happened.

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