LUBBOCK, Texas — Joyland Amusement Park is closing because of severe weather damage from Thursday night’s storm.
Although the park was only able to open back up last month after being closed due to COVID-19, park officials anticipate it will shut down for at least another two weeks to make repairs.
“The wind picked up around 80 to 100 miles per hour, and we took care of the people as best as we could,” Joyland owner David Dean said. “People started seeking shelter and all of that, and we were just trying our best to keep people safe by getting them off the rides.”
The park does its best to monitor the weather and close rides when necessary, but this storm came on quickly. To keep folks safe, park officials had to act fast.
“Normally you see a storm coming, and you can prepare for it. You get people off the rides, and sometimes you can get people rainchecks,” Dean said. “This came on so quickly that didn’t happen, so we had to take care of people where they were.”
All passengers were able to get off the rides safely, but Dean says one employee was injured by falling debris. She was rushed to the hospital where she is recovering. With everyone safe, park officials will now start surveying and cleaning up the park. However, with damage to several rides, fallen trees and collapsed power lines will take many days to get the park ready for visitors again.
“It’ll take us a number of days to repair the damage,” Dean said. “There are lots of trees down, some ride damage, there was minor flooding, and it was just a big mess…there’s probably more that we’ve got to inspect, look at, repair and test out before we reopen.”
The business is already struggling due to COVID-19, but Dean is hopeful Joyland will recover quickly.
“It’s just amazing, the support we’ve had,” Dean said. “We’ve been through some tough times, and people have been here and been really supportive throughout that. We really appreciate it.”
Dean said with his hardworking staff and the support of the Lubbock community, he is confident Joyland will reopen by the end of the summer.