Flooding Forces Hersheypark to Close for 3rd Time This Week, Rescues in Central Pennsylvania Communities

Flash flooding leads to Hershey evacuations, Hersheypark closure

UPDATE: Both Hersheypark and Knoebels were closed again Thursday due to lingering flooding effects.

Historic flooding from heavy downpours in central Pennsylvania caused evacuations from flooded homes and forced the popular Hersheypark amusement park to close for the third time this week.

Hersheypark announced it will close Thursday due to the "continued weather impact" in the area. The park closed Monday after heavy rain and flash flooding caused Spring Creek, which runs through the amusement park, to rise. The park reopened Tuesday and was closed again Wednesday "for the safety of our guests and employees."

"Our team is closely monitoring this fast-moving storm system to determine its continued impact on our region, guests and employees -- including impacts to roads, bridges and highways leading to the park," Hersheypark said in a Facebook post.

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Dauphin County officials called the flooding historic, the worst they've seen since Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

Firefighters helped evacuate people in a neighborhood near Hershey on Wednesday morning, and search crews have not been able to find a woman swept away Monday night while crossing the rain-swollen Conewago Creek near Elizabethtown.

Rainfall totals of up to 7 to 11 inches have soaked central Pennsylvania over the past five days, with more on the way before clearer weather is expected Thursday. 

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at Hershey High school on Homestead road to assist with people displaced by flooding.

Not only did the flooding force Hersheypark to close three times this week but it also caused the closure of Knoebels in Elysburg. The amusement park shared video of flooding in the park.

Extremely high water levels on the Susquehanna River caused the Harrisburg Senators, who play on a river island, to postpone two games.

Officials warned residents from driving through or attempting to walk in flood water as just 6 inches of rushing water could pull a person of his or her feet.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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