~shared by J. Ranner
“While natural disasters capture headlines and national attention short-term, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long-term.”
-Sylvia Mathews Burwell
In the early evening of August 21st, what had started off as a typical hot and sunny summer day in the Pocono Mountains transitioned into one of the worst natural disasters in Woodloch history.
Isolated, yet incredibly powerful torrential downpours soaked our property with over 10 inches of rain in less than an hour. Flood waters breached our lower Springbrook and Mountain Laurel areas, causing severe damage to 28 guest accommodations, as well as the Indoor Pool and Kiddie Splash area.
Nobody was hurt. Emergency personnel and staff were able to relocate all guests as well as themselves into safe zones as the waters broke through.
Almost immediately, we began our clean-up efforts. Thousands of gallons of flood water were pumped out of the buildings. Soiled furniture was promptly removed from rooms. Dry wall and carpets were ripped out. Supplies, equipment and even gift shop merchandise were simply thrown out. Needless to say, the entire complex was essentially gutted.
Disaster workers, as well as our own staff, worked around the clock to get our resort on the path to recovery. Perhaps the most promising event of the day was the outdoor pool opening that morning- less than 96 hours after the flash flooding. Guests used makeshift changing facilities (converted tractor trailers), but other than that… it was business as usual at our outdoor pool.
From the outside looking in, I have to share my own thoughts on this unfortunate situation. While I truly am saddened by seeing the great pool facility and Springbrook / Mountain Laurel accommodations in the shape they are in, I’m concurrently beaming with Woodloch pride.
The spirit of our guests, company and so many of the employees that I have the pleasure to work with clearly shines in this situation. Almost immediately, we had guests kindly offering their accommodations to those displaced. The big Woodloch games that you all know and love went on as scheduled the next day with the same vigor and smiles that always accompany them. As the saying goes:
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
This clean-up will not be easy. We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us. But as long as we keep that Woodloch competitive spirit alive, I have no doubts that we will emerge from the other side of this bigger and better than ever.
Check back with us as we keep you updated!