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Summer Thunderstorm Slams Poconos Resort Popular With Guests From NY, NJ

HAWLEY, Penn. (CBSNewYork) — A summer thunderstorm dumped rain on a Poconos resort that is popular with people from New York and New Jersey.

As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, the resort amazingly remained open on Friday night.

“In the last half hour it was like someone was standing on top of us with buckets,” said John Kiesendahl, owner of the WoodLoch Resort.

The normally pristine pool was a muddy brown, and rooms on the first floor were a sodden mess. A vending machine and video games have seen their final days after the water ruined them.

The WoodLoch Resort has never seen anything like this in the 56 years that it has been welcoming guests.

One Bergen County resident described a frightening scene.

“The water was incredible. Really it was like whitewater for rafting had gone right through the building,” said Peter Rutigliano of Harrington Park, New Jersey.

The summer storm dropped several inches of rain in a matter of minutes. It ran downhill into the Springbrook Building, flooding the main pool, and the kiddie splash pool. It also damaged the bathrooms and locker rooms.

The rain was so intense that the resort’s extensive drainage system was overwhelmed.

“We have twenty-eight guest rooms that we have to gut, renovate, and get back into service as soon as possible. That’s an economic concern of ours. All of our suites, summertime, we have 100 percent occupancy,” Kiesendahl said.

Because of the risk of mold the resort is not taking any chances. Any place where insulation and drywall came into contact with floodwater is being ripped out and reinstalled.

Remarkably, more than 90 percent of the resort escaped unscathed. Guests usually return year after year and were pitching in to help.

“We volunteered our rooms and we left our rooms so that people in the rooms below could move up because their rooms had been flooded out,” Rutigliano said.

It’s quite a summer memory at a place that has been making them since 1958.

More than 1,000 guests were staying at the resort, no one was hurt.

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