The scene at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio after a piece of HVAC duct work fell from the ceiling. March 12, 2018. (Photo courtesy of @Brooke_Seff via Twitter)

Accident At Kalahari Disrupts March Break Plans

An unexpected closure at a popular water park south of the border is throwing a wrench into the plans of some local families on March Break.

Parts of the water park at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio remain closed Tuesday after a piece of HVAC ductwork fell from the ceiling Monday afternoon, injuring five people.

Chatham resident Chuck Dubeau says he and his two sons showed up at the park shortly after the incident, so they haven’t had a chance to see the water park at all yet.

He’s trying to look on the bright side, though.

“I talked to my boys and they each have a friend along… and we made a group decision that we would make the best of the trip and find some other things to do,” says Dubeau. “I told my boys… if you get dealt a lemon, let’s turn it into lemonade.”

Dubeau says he has also been getting some tips from friends back home in the Chatham-Kent area on some other attractions he and his boys can visit while parts of the water park are shut down.

“I’ll be back,” says Dubeau. “I understand that when anything like this happens, they’ll check things out and make sure that it’s better than it was before and probably put in safety practices or policies to make sure things like this don’t happen again.”

Chatham’s Jeff Hopman and his family of six are also staying at the park with some friends — their experience hasn’t been quite as positive.

“I can tell you that it’s been a major inconvenience,” Hopman told via Twitter. “The communication is poor, we had to wait in line for an hour just to see what the status of our stay was.”

Hopman says as of Tuesday morning, he had been told that he would be refunded for one night along with “future unknown considerations,” but he still had unanswered questions about when the park will re-open and whether his family should stay for the duration of their trip or just head back to Chatham.

A statement from Kalahari Resort says after careful evaluation, officials are planning to re-open parts of the water park Tuesday.

Kalahari Management anticipates the following limited sections will be open:

  • One FlowRider
  • Lazy River
  • Zimbabwe Zipper
  • Victoria Falls
  • Zig Zag Zebra
  • Leopardߣs Lair
  • Crocodile Cove Activity Pool
  • Specialty Cabanas

It is reported that management is allowing guests to change or cancel their Tuesday overnight stay without penalty. A $100 Kalahari gift card and a complimentary upgrade will also be included for a future stay. If guests would still like to come during the partial water park opening, room rates will be reduced.

There is no timeline for when the facility will be fully re-opened.