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July 25, 2018

As flood cleanup continues, Hersheypark to close again Thursday; no decision from Knoebels yet

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Knoebels Flooding Knoebels Amusement Resort/Facebook

Flash flooding fills creek at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa. on July 23, 2018.

Two popular Pennsylvania amusement parks are closed again as crews clean up after severe flooding hit the state this week.

And at least one of them will be closed again Thursday.

Both Knoebels and Hersheypark announced via social media Wednesday that they would be closed for the day. The two parks had reopened Tuesday after being forced to shut down Monday.

A message on the Hersheypark indicates the park will be closed again on Thursday. Knoebels, which is telling people to follow its updates on social media, has yet to make an announcement regarding Thursday.

Officials issued a disaster declaration in Derry Township where Hersheypark is located. A flash flood warning remains in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday in Columbia and Northumberland counties, where Knoebels is located.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Severe flooding closes Knoebels, Hershey Park as more rain looms

"This one’s going to take some clean-up. We’re closed today, folks," read a Facebook post from Knoebels on Wednesday morning.

Knoebels has been hit with extreme flooding several times in the last 50 years.

On June 22, 1972, heavy rains from Hurricane Agnes swelled the creeks that run through the park, pushing water levels six feet above their banks. Six cottages were destroyed. Many other buildings and nearly all of the 25 rides were damaged.

Major floods caused substantial damage again in 1975, 1996, 2004, 2006 and 2011.

The June 28, 2006, flood submerged the park just before the busy July 4th weekend. More than 100 tons of mud had to be removed from the Crystal Pool.

In the most recent flood, on September 7, 2011, water levels neared those of the 1972 incident. Damages from the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Lee exceeded the Agnes flood.

Heavy rains this week hit the central part of the state from Monday into Tuesday, causing the flooding. According to Derry police, several roads in the township remain closed, including several that run near a local creek.

The Philadelphia region was also hit with showers Monday and Tuesday. A flash flood warning is in effect for much of the Philadelphia region through late Wednesday night.