Natural Disasters At Amusement Parks

Sunday, June 17, 2001 7:21 PM
I don't want to sound morbid on this, and this has nothing to do with human or animal fatality, but I am very curious on this matter:

What park (past or present, currently running or closed down) has sustained damage due to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornados, fires... etc??
For those parks:

What was destroyed?
Which park had the most damage or was the most severe?
Was anything ever repaired due to damage from natural disaster, or just removed completely?

With it being hurricane season, this just sparked my interest... especially with the fact that I don't hear too many parks getting hit with any disasters, even in Flordia!

The Great Escape... Soon to become Six Flags Adrondiak Escape!!!
Sunday, June 17, 2001 7:38 PM
Two Words
Boomerang Clones
Sunday, June 17, 2001 8:15 PM
I know Knoebel's suffered a huge flood back in '72. They have signs noting the highwater level all around the park.

Didn't Valleyfair! flood earlier this year? And I remember seeing pictures of Lightning Racer's construction area being flooded from Hurricane Floyd I believe it was.

Matt Lynch
Co-Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
Sunday, June 17, 2001 8:28 PM
Well yes Valleyfair! did have flooding. Also wasn't Titan underwater for sometime?

┬ęBruce's P:)sting Co.
Sunday, June 17, 2001 8:31 PM
Riverview Park, Chicago, IL closed forever...

wait, thats not a natural disaster!

Everybodys got something to hide except for me and my monkey!
Sunday, June 17, 2001 8:32 PM
There was an OLD theme park in Dubuque, IA called Union Park back in the early 1900's it had like 1 wooden rollercoaster and a few other rides. It was destroyed in I think 1919 because of a flash flood. The park was located in a valley and the valley flooded and it was destroyed and some people died i think. The ruins are still there today. I think they tried to rebuild some of the park but nobody wanted to come cause of the fear of flooding.
Sunday, June 17, 2001 8:40 PM
There was a park in St Louis I believe it's name was Forest Park and it was destroyed by fire.
God please let SFKK get something this year. ANYTHING!!
Monday, June 18, 2001 6:01 AM
Idlewild Park--Memorial Day Weekend, 1996

It basically rained all weekend, and the Loyalhanna Creek that flows through the park kept rising and rising. The park sort of knew the flood was coming, so they begain removing whatever they could. The train was taken apart and moved by crane away from the creek. Critical ride parts were moved to higher ground. The worst part was the mess the flood left. The midways had to be scrubbed to remove all the mud and debris. But the best part was the thousands of plastic balls from the Jumpin' Jungle Ball Crawl were loaded into plastic bags, trucked across the park, and dumped in the swimming pool to clean and chlorinate them. They were then loaded back into bags and trucked back to the ball crawl. It was quite a sight to see the pool filled with thousands of plastic balls.
Monday, June 18, 2001 6:05 AM
How did SFMM fare after the Big One? Was that in '91 or what?
Monday, June 18, 2001 6:37 AM
I do believe that an old park named Luna Park burnt down n the early 1900's and nothing was left untouched.
Monday, June 18, 2001 6:50 AM
Someone mentioned the 1972 flood that hit Knoebels. That was in June of 1972 from rains from Hurrican Agnes. In that same storm, Hersheypark got hit pretty hard too.

While not "natural" in most cases, fire seems to be the big nemisis of parks. Locally, in 1983 a fire destroyed the dark ride ("Bucket of Blood?") and a carrousel (I think) at Dorney park (of course the park kept going). In the 1980's, fire hit Idora Park in Youngstown Ohio, heavily damaging the Wildcat coaster and destroying the Lost River ride. Already facing tough times, the park could not recover and closed. I also remember reading about a devastating fire back in the 60's (or was it the 50's?) at a park called Highlands in the midwest. The most notorious of fires probably were the ones at Coney Island NY in the early part of the century. Most of the "great" Coney Island parks saw their share of fires... the most devastating striking Luna Park (around 1907), Steeplechase (1912?), and Luna Park again (around 1946).

"Resistance is futile... you will be assimilated." The BORG's (and Six Flags') motto.
Monday, June 18, 2001 8:45 AM
Yep Lynch, Knoebels got hit by floods in 72, 74 and in 96. I saw a few pictures of Knoebels after the flood. One of the floods hit about a month before opening day. The local community volunteered with the clean up and the park opened on time. In 96 when they got flooded balls from the Ball Crawl were found as far as Danville about 10 miles or so from the park!

Williams Grove also got hit with a flood in the early 70's. Although the parks still surviving they never bounced back to the way they were before the flood.

Hello, My name is Dan and I'm a coasterholic. *** This post was edited by coasterpunk on 6/18/2001. ***
Monday, June 18, 2001 8:49 AM
Coney Island in Cincinnati has dealt with floods in 1913, 1937, 1964, 1972, 1991, and 1997. The most devastating was the one in '37 -- the park was pretty much wiped out by 28 feet of floodwater. They've got a nice section on their website that details their history:'s.htm
Monday, June 18, 2001 9:05 AM
A tornado ripped through Cedar Point in, I believe the winter 1977. It damaged the Frontier Trail train station as well as damage the original entrance to Cedar Creek Mine Ride and some of it's track. This is why the original entrance is blocked off.--I like the entrance better the way it is now, because it adds to the theme of the ride.

The tornado also ripped out a lot of trees where Gemini was destined (the following season), which helped construction move along. :)

Back in 1998 there were several water spouts that surrounded Cedar Point too.

Here's a link of one just beyond Blue Streak:

There are several eye witness accounts at GTTP:
Monday, June 18, 2001 9:35 AM

When we went to CP last year in mid-July almost the same thing happen. The day started out nice but by 5 in the afternoon things took a turn for the worse and it got real dark and almost green which of course is not a good sign.
We ran to our car and got to our campsite to watch all of the tents blow away as we took shelter in the camp store. There were reports of a few water spouts and even a funnel cloud near huron but nothing touched down. I know though the next day we went millinium force was closed (they said it was because it got struck by the lightening)
Monday, June 18, 2001 9:37 AM
SFAW was hit with a flood a week or two ago... It just recently opened after the damage was repaired.

.:| Brandon Rodriguez |:.
Monday, June 18, 2001 9:39 AM
They should make a movie of the tornadoes at CP they can call it Day of the Twisters. ;)
Monday, June 18, 2001 2:49 PM
Has any parks been destroyed (not the whole park, but a ride or attraction) by the rough off-season like a Blizzard??

The Great Escape... Soon to become Six Flags Adirondack Escape!!!
Monday, June 18, 2001 5:04 PM
It is probably just a matter of time before a plane taking off from San Jose International Airport augers into PGA. Morbid? Perhaps.

Forget about it. It can't be THAT bad!
Monday, June 18, 2001 6:46 PM
The Yankee Cannonball at Canobie Lake Park, in Salem, NH has been struck b lightning and suffered damage from a fire which started from the lightning strike.

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