Sandcastle Soaked In Mud After Flooding, Prompting Rare Closure At Peak Of Summer

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sandcastle Water Park has been closed by flooding since Saturday evening.

Employees are working hard to remove mud and debris left by the river water. It’s not easy to send Monongahela mud back where it came from.

General Manager Damian Dondero says lifeguards, concession workers and ticket takers transformed instantly into a flood response team when the river began to rise.

“We jumped right in, started removing motors that were on the lower level of the pump room to get them out of the flood zone, and started moving all our furniture and other items that were on this lower level of the park up to a higher level,” he said.

The lower level of the park was essentially part of the river before the water receded, leaving a foul smelling mess in its wake.

Much of the mud, now on the grassy area, covered the pool deck just the day before. The deck chairs have been returned. But returning mud to the Mon will take a little longer.

Midwinter floods are not uncommon at the park, but Dondero says closing the park in the peak of the summer season is very unusual.

“This is the first time in 21 years we’ve had flooding in the middle of the summer,” he said.

The forecast calls for high temperatures and high humidity. The forecast for Sandcastle’s re-opening remains uncertain.

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