Weekend storm forces Joyland to close for cleaning - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/5/10

Weekend storm forces Joyland to close for cleaning, re-open Thursday

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) – On a typical summer night, the rides would be coming to a stop and families and children would be walking out of Joyland with smiles on their faces. But now, during its peak season, the park had to shut its gates to clean up Mother Nature's mess.

"We should be preparing for a nice evening with folks coming out to see us and doing last minute stuff and checking the rides," said Joyland owner David Dean about what he wishes he were doing.

Instead, Dean and his team at the park are working around the clock to wash away signs of the weekend storm. They are cleaning the mud, changing the oil and taking apart the rides that got wet.

Muddy water coated Joyland and reached four feet deep in some parts of the park.

"This is the second worst I've ever seen it. The first was about two years ago back in the fall of 2008 but this is pretty bad," said Dean. The water marks on some of the rides are higher than the height requirements to buckle in.

The bumper cars were completely submerged in water and looked more like boat cars. The park could be closed for six days before reopening on Thursday.

"It's going to put us about a week behind and this year we only have 90 days of strong operation and it affects us. It seriously affects us," said Dean.

Dean walks around the park he's dedicated decades of his time to making sure families have fun.

"It's disheartening. It's pretty tough and it takes some praying to get through it. We are hanging in there," he added.

Dean says his team is going to double and triple check stuff and make sure everything is in good shape before the gates open back up which he hopes is this Thursday evening.

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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