Elysburg, Northumberland County -- The Jet Sky Fighter at Knoebels Amusement Resort takes kids for a spin on the park's reopening weekend. Just a week earlier it was among the rides damaged in the Flood of 2011. "We've recovered 95-percent from the flood," said Knoebels Spokesman Joe Muscato. "We put the park back together in miraculous form I think." That meant overcoming several feet of water from Roaring Creek and Mugser Run that inundated Knoebels September 7th and 8th.
The flooding forced the park to shut down last weekend during its post Labor Day weekends only schedule. It took a massive amount of materials and an equally massive amount of manpower to cleanup and repair the park. "(We) used almost 3,000 tons of gravel to restore the park. We have about 30,000 person hours just from our staff. That's not counting outside contractors and volunteers," said Mr. Muscato.
Park goers like 12-year-old Jayne Salomone saw some of the devastation on the internet. "It showed how like a car from one of the rides ended up by a cabin." The new flood level is already marked off at a park that logs its flood history like badges of honor. This one came within inches of the worst-ever 1972 flood.
The fact that Knoebels reopened so quickly following the flooding didn't surprise some. "I think if anyone can deal with a flood it would be Knoebels. I mean you go over that bridge and see all of the floods they had so I thought they'd be open for sure," said Andy Murray of Milford Tonya Strous of Watsontown came to Knoebels for a mother-daughter day with her child, Jenna, but that wasn't the only reason. "To see how bad Knoebels was but it looks pretty good so far."
With most rides, gift shops, games and restaurants reopen, Knoebels could offer just the diversion so many people could use. "You got to have fun in life even if there's devastation, right?," said Mr. Murray. "It's being open, having people here, seeing smiles. Our staff needs that as much as anyone," said Mr. Muscato.
Knoebels Amusement Resort is open Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. The park will be open each weekend through the end of October.