Fairmount Park’s Valley Green Inn plans to reopen Thursday

The Valley Green Inn could reopen this week. The restaurant was forced to close on Sunday after Hurricane Irene pushed the Wissahickon Creek over its banks flooding its basement.

Valley Green Inn owner Jack Ott says when he made it into the parking lot there was already water up to the porch. To his surprise, the power was on, but the Inn’s basement was full of water.

“It was a wreck. There was stuff all around…and we got as many things out as possible. We lost some wooden chairs we didn’t have storage for. We may have to replace flooring in the bar and hallway, but we can still walk on it — it’s safe. We’re just drying out our basement,” Ott said.

Ott could said the biggest problem is in the parking lot. 

“[The parking lots were] inaccessible,” Ott said. “It was hard to walk through. There was exposed sewage…[from] the storm drain. Fairmount Park has their hands full, [and] we’re staying out of their way. [The] Park and Water Departments have been working diligently,” he said.

Ott says Hurricane Floyd in 1999, which brought 10 inches of rain, caused more damage than Hurricane Irene. The National Weather Service recorded 5.7 inches of rain in Philadelphia from Irene over this past weekend.

“I fully expected the same damage from Floyd. It was pretty close. The main difference was that the power came back on. This flood was a foot lower, in the basement, than Floyd. From an uneducated eye, the park didn’t [seem to have] many trees down, but there was a lot last time.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Valley Green Inn did not have phone or internet service, due to a Fios line that was severed, during a “trial repair” according to its website.

Parties and weddings will still go on, according to schedule.

If you have a photo of the flooded parking lot from Sunday (8/28/11) please send it to atu@whyy.org. I would like to add it to our gallery.

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