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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Cloudburst floods Woodloch Pines facility

  • LACKAWAXEN TWP. - Woodloch Pines Resort remains open for business, despite having one of their facilities inundated Thursday night during a torrential rain storm. The indoor pool and 28 guest rooms at the Springbrook building were impacted.
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  • LACKAWAXEN TWP. -   Woodloch Pines Resort remains open for business, despite having one of their facilities inundated Thursday night during a torrential rain storm. The indoor pool and 28 guest rooms at the Springbrook building were impacted.
       John Kiesendahl, CEO of the resort which was started by his parents in 1958, said they have never experienced flooding like this. He gave a guess that perhaps there was a couple million dollars worth of damage, a figure he hoped will be mostly covered by insurance.
       There were about 1,100 guests at the resort and most were at dinner when the sweeping line of thunderstorms crossed the region. Rory O'Fee, Marketing Director, said the storm began around 5 p.m. and lasted about an hour and a half. Heavy rain suddenly became more intense near the end when the cloudburst occurred.
       "It was almost like someone pouring a bucket of water on your head," O'Fee said.
        Kiesendahl said that when a storm comes they have their landscaping department ensure that the storm drains aren't plugged. He said they have provided for stormwater controls but this time, the water  from the sky was so intense, converging and racing to the low point which was the entrance of this building.
       A wall of water, about three and a half feet high, burst through the doors, breaking its glass and flooding the foyer, gift shop, indoor pool area and 28 of the approximately 60 to 70 guest rooms in the building. The basement was also flooded.
        Power was lost only briefly in the storm.  
        Kiesendahl said that the guests were highly cooperative and accommodating. All of the affected rooms were being rented. Only a couple parties chose to leave after the storm; the rest were found other rooms on the Woodloch complex.
       He also spoke highly of his dedicated staff, many who were working through the night in the cleanup. A professional damage control company was on scene the next morning to help staff. Carpeting, sheet-rock and furniture will have to be replaced. They lost the inventory in their gift shop.
        Central Volunteer Fire Department was on scene Thursday night pumping water from the building.
        The CEO said this was a scary event and one that has a significant impact. He said he now has a lot of more empathy for those who have experienced flash floods.
        Despite this setback, Kiesendahl noted that none of the other buildings were damaged. Woodloch's busy schedule of activities and hospitality continues. "The show must go on," he said.
        Woodloch Pines Resort is about eight miles east of Hawley in Lackawaxen Township, Pike County. The original part of the resort is along Lake Teedyuskung on Welcome Lake Road. The full resort (including Woodloch Pines- family resort, Woodloch  Springs Golf Course and Community and The Lodge at Woodloch,  destination spa), spans over 1200 acres and can accommodate over 1000 guests. There are 165 guest rooms and 80 guest houses. The largest private employer in Wayne and Pike counties, Woodloch has approximately 1,000 on payroll during the summer.
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