Kennywood- 5/31/02 (tornado hits!)

Associated parks:
None

Friday, May 31, 2002 6:18 PM

This was my school's picnic and I was hoping for a picnic with no rain. My past several school picnics were all rainy and I was hoping for a change, but something massive hit

I left my house around 10:30 and got there close to 11:15. I was hoping for a good day, but scattered storms were predicted throughout the area. I really thought nothing of that and hoped for the best.

I started the day with a great ride on the Flying Carpet. It was a great ride, a little to short though. My group next headed to the Thunderbolt. Having not ridden it for two years because of the Phantom's (re)construstion, I was hoping for the best. But little to my surprise I got more, it was a great ride with air-time heaven.

Next we headed to the Swing Around, a nice ride which I had not ridden for several years. Soon we headed to the shooting gallery. I got a score of 180 and squirted all my friends, hehe. Then we made our to the Small Fry. I got a chicken and fries basket which was as good as always.

Next on to Phantom's Revenge. About a half an hour wait and a next to perfect ride. Still only one train and no Phantom Phanatic's scanner. What ever did happen to the Phantom Phanatic's card thing? We got a ride on the swings and met up with some friends.

While some of my friends rode the Whip (still standing at the time), a few of my friends and myself got a ride on the Pittsburgh Plunge.

A few of my friends wanted to ride the Phantom again so we waited a good twenty-five minutes. Another great ride on my number one favorite rollercoaster. We got off and some of my other friends wanted a ride on the Pitt-Fall. We waited a good half an hour and all of a sudden, the ride needs to be inspected. Add another fifteen minutes to that and it came out to forty-five minutes for it!

Soon enough, I got thirsty and bought myself a drink with my friend and lost all the other people we were with. After searching for a good fifteen minutes, we found ALL of them near the Kennyville Stage. Some ran off, and a couple of us went to the swings again. We felt a couple of rain drops and thought nothing of it. We got off and it started to rain harder, but still nothing to threatening.Soon enough it started to lightning. It was lightning a lot when we got to the Pirate. We were in line for around two minutes when they closed the ride on us. Deciding we were hungary, a few of us got some corn.

We sat down and ate and such. Then the sky really got dark and storm-like. It was getting a bit scary but I shrugged it off saying it will pass over. But in a matter of a mere one or two seconds, rained just poured faster than I have ever seen it start! Me and a few of my friends ran under the roof of the Service Center building near the Pirate. It started getting harder and harder. My friend and I ran into the building itself and the rest went to the Playdium. The rain was pouring, the wind was howling, and I saw wind swirling exactly above the Phantom with debris flying everywhere. I saw a big metal sign or something fly right into office building and crack right in half.

My friend and I ran to the back when it calmed down just the teeniest bit and asked two police men running by outside what happened. They said a tornado blew by and I was in shock. But in the grand scheme of things, it really did feel and look like a tornado.

When it calmed down enough that you could go out, my friend and I ran over to the Playdium where my one friend told me about the Whip. I was in disbelief. Soon enough, police cars, ambulances, and paramedics ran towards the Whip.

My friends were told that the park is closed and we all had to leave. My friends and I waited at the tunnel for their parents (my parents didn't go). When all the parents were found, I checked out the sky. Still looking a bit dark, I pointed it out and they said it was the storm that just went by. But it started raining again! Almost as hard and as sudden as the first time. We were all crammed into the tunnel and everyone was pushing. It was pure chaos! We left and ran as fast as we could to my friends car where we went home looking at the wreckage, hearing the sirens, listening to the news, and finding our way back to our homes.

This is a day I will never forget and my most memorable trip to any park ever!

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Come and see my band skank it while building pine cone bird feeders- [url]http://www.comehomegreg.tk

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Friday, May 31, 2002 6:22 PM

Thank you for the TR. I can't imagine being caught in that storm there. Pretty frightening.

I'm glad you're OK.

Jim

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Friday, May 31, 2002 6:24 PM
Thanks for your concern, that was the first "major" storm I have ever been in.

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Come and see my band skank it while building pine cone bird feeders- http://www.comehomegreg.tk

*** This post was edited by WCS4488 on 5/31/2002. ***

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Friday, May 31, 2002 6:37 PM
Wow, I was at CP the day lightning hit Millie, pretty cool to see BTW, that was the worst storm I have been at in a Park but this is very scary. Glad you are OK.

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The Beast and Night, They go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly

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Friday, May 31, 2002 7:19 PM
Yes, I was also at Cedar Point a day back in 2000 when lightning hit Millennium Force. I was in a bathroom on the front midway and we had easily about 100 people in there when it probably should of only held about 20. That was one of only 2 times in my life that I have seen hail in person. It was a crazy time.
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Friday, May 31, 2002 7:58 PM
OH COASTERBOY DO I REMEMBER THAT!!!! That was the scariest time of my life the day MF got hit by lightning. I was working the Balloon Race in Camp Snoopy and we weren't allowed to leave the ride (which we closed). I was staring at MF while standing on my stool (because the rain was flooding the area) when it got hit with lightning. I was so scared. Finally they called us and said to run into the Snoopy Theatre, so we were all crammed into it. Wow!!
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Friday, May 31, 2002 8:23 PM
Thanks for posting the TR. You are lucky you weren't hurt. It sounds like a scary place to be.
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Friday, May 31, 2002 8:40 PM

I was in the fascination building with about 500 other people looking out the front window when whammo the lightning hit.

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The Beast and Night, They go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly

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Saturday, June 1, 2002 5:37 AM
Glad to hear you are ok I myself would be scared to be in a storm like that especially if I was at an Ameusment Park.I just can;t help but wonder what they are going to do where The Whip was I know that was a classic ride but I loved it.
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Saturday, June 1, 2002 7:53 AM

Well that has to suck, being on your picnic and all, I had mine the day before and it was really nice.I had just gotten out of the pool when the storm hit. Its still unknown when the park will reopen and if they will rebulid the Whip or get rid of it. Its sad that a person died though, my heart goes out to the family members and relatives of that lady.
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The Jokes on You!! Ha H***
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Saturday, June 1, 2002 8:06 AM
It seems as though the wind lifted the roof, then all of the sides just plopped over leaving nothing to hold up the roof again. I hope they dont get rid of the whip, it was always one of my favorites to take a girl on. THey should deffinatly rebuild it.
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Sunday, June 2, 2002 9:16 PM
Glad you made it out, Jon! Stay alive so we can meet, eh???:)
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Check out a real band *smirk*

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Sunday, June 2, 2002 9:49 PM
Wow! I was at the Point the 1st year that Power Tower was open and we were in line for Raptor when all of a sudden the people in the train on the brake run were yelling and pointing at the sky. We turned around and saw at 1st 3 water spouts coming off of lake erie. I have never seen a crew like the Raptor crew that day act soooo fast and get the people on the brake run off the train and to saftey. I have to commend the Raptor crew of the time and Point Management with training this magnificiant crew! We ran to the restrooms near by the ride and could hear the spouts go right over us! Then I went out side to check to see if it was safe to come out of hiding and saw 4 more water spouts! I was freaked! they went right over us too. I will never forget that day either as it was my 1st time seeing severe weather up close and personal.

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Beer, my soon to be wife, coasters, and the FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Is this a great country or what!!
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stoogemanmoe

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Monday, June 3, 2002 2:26 PM
Wow That sounds like it would have freaked the living bleep out of me. What has been going on these past few weeks with all of the Amusement Park injuries. I'm glad that you got to shelter. That we have given me a heart attack.
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