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Hersheypark aims to reopen by September 17, 2011 as flood clean-up continues

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Flood-hit Hersheypark is aiming to reopen to the public by Saturday, September 17, 2011, as it continues to recover from heavy flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee.

The Lebanon Daily News reports that Hersheypark has suffered serious damage in low-lying areas, with inspectors currently assessing the impact on the park's rides and other structures.

A spokesperson for Hersheypark revealed that the Comet wooden rollercoaster, constructed in 1946, lost several boards during the flood but was otherwise undamaged. Neighboring Zoo America was less fortunate, being forced to euthanize several animals who became trapped in rising floodwaters.

More than 9 inches of rain fell on Hershey in Pennsylvania during the period that Tropical Storm Lee passed over it. In addition to the the park itself, Hersheypark Drive (a key road for reaching the park) was completely closed, while nearby Pizza Hut and Wendy's restaurants were also flooded.

It is not yet known whether Hersheypark's plans to open a $25 million rollercoaster, Skyrush, in 2012 have been delayed by the flooding. Construction work on the new ride has already begun.

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