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MMD > Archives > September 2011 > 2011.09.11 > 01Prev  Next

Knoebels Amusement Park Flood Damage
By Matthew Caulfield

Here is a report on flood damage to Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg,
Pennsylvania, from the park's electrician and band organ man, Dave
Wynn.  As many of you know, Knoebels is no stranger to flood damage
and has always recovered nicely.  This latest seems to be a real hard
hit that will be difficult to recover from but, knowing Knoebels, they
_will_ recover.

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

 - - - -

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011 8:52 PM

Hi Matthew,  The flood devastated the whole park, worse than Hurricane
Agnes did in 1972.  You can view lots of pictures on Knoebels Facebook page, 

Here are the specifics on the organs.

1. The "Phoenix" DeKleist/Wurlitzer 165: there is a water line 10" up
on the organ.  Just missed the pressure pump.  Bottom pipes ruined,
but probably are there yet.  About two dozen rolls were under water.

2. Grand Carousel: much worse than the pictures show, lots of mud on
everything, about 30" inside the machine.  Both drum wings were ripped
off the Frati organ, but fortunately the [carousel enclosure] gates held
so its all there.  Bottom pipes ripped off, not sure if water got into
the pressure pump or not.

The little Wildwood organ in the center was blocked up as high as we
could get it but still it lost most of its bottom pipes and the pressure
pump was soaked.

The Berni organ was basically spared but the MIDI system was under
water and probably destroyed, and I know nothing about such things.
Rene Bernier, our electronics genius, took care of the MIDI system,
and he doesn't even know about it yet since he has rides all over the
Park that were dunked.

3. The Stein and Goldstein Carousel at Kiddieland: this carousel was
severely damaged, as several huge tables from the Old Mill area floated
down and crashed into the ride, knocking the horses loose and wracking
the whole ride in general.  Several horses lost legs, and they are gone
forever.  The organ was blocked up and strapped into place or it would
also be gone.  As it was, it floated up in a 45-degree angle, which
left most of the bottom pipes gone, the pressure pump covered with mud
and other crap, the windchest soaked, and possibly the vacuum stack and
unit blocks also wet down to some degree.  It will need a complete

Several folks have asked, "Why didn't they take the organs out in time?"
Wednesday night it looked like the water was receding, and everything
would be fine.  At 2:00 A.M. Thursday there was a rain like there has
never been, putting down three or four inches of rain in a few hours;
the rest is history...  You can forward this to MMD if you like.

Dave Wynn

 [ A photo of the Kiddieland carousel and organ is at
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Sun 11 Sep 2011, 13:37:27 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Amusement, Damage, Flood, Knoebels, Park

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