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Flash Floods Could Cost a Popular Resort Millions

LACKAWAXEN TOWNSHIP — A popular destination in Pike County is dealing with more water than normal.

The owner of Woodloch Pines said this is the busiest week all year for the resort, meaning 100% of the rooms are filled. But when flash floods tore through guest rooms and a gift shop on Thursday night, it took some quick thinking by resort employees to make sure everyone was OK.

“We never had anything here, 56 years and this was our first,” said John Kiesendahl.

Kiesendahl owns Woodloch Resort and he was right there when the floods ripped through one of his buildings, destroying an indoor pool and dozens of guest rooms.

“It was incredible. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it before. Just incredible,” said Peter Rutigliano, who was been coming to Woodloch for 35 years.

“Well, I went through Sandy. So it was a little flashback. Different kind of water coming in but same type of thing,” said Anthony Santillo, a guest at the resort.

That flood water came in through two double doors in the pool building. The water was so powerful, it took out the gift shop and then that same water flowed right down into a hallway and guest rooms.

“About 28 guest rooms were affected. It filled, of course, all the basement areas and came back out the other side,” said Kiesendahl.

Kiesendahl estimates this mess will costs millions of dollars to clean up, but he’s grateful that no one was hurt.

He said all of the affected guests were moved to other locations – he even opened up his own home!

“We used everything. My house, my sister’s house, anything we had open,” said Kiesendahl.

Guests were also pitching in to help out, offering up their rooms to help other families.

“We have three separate rooms and my parents have a house down the road. So we decided to clean up all of our stuff last night, pack it up, so John would have some extra rooms for the guest who were below,” said Rutigliano.

Despite the damage, resort activities are still going on.

Rutigliano said, “I know Woodloch, nothing slows them down. “

As the guests continued to have fun, the staff at Woodloch are still hard at work.

“We have to do it from the bottom up and do it right,” said Kiesendahl.

The owner of Woodloch Resort said that crews will be gutting out those damaged hotel suites starting this weekend.

As for the pool, the owner hopes to have it open by the time winter weather hits.

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