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KI closed early..?

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Also, when the tornado sirens went off, there seemed to be virtually NO effort to move guests to shelter. It appeared that most guests were in the midway, and stayed there.

I had a tornado come within 1/4 mile of my house when I was still in grade school. Most of us are aware that psychologically, fears that start during childhood are difficult if not impossible to break. I've been trying to shake that fear for the last 18 years since that happened.. I can't do it. I've tried everything. The last time I was in the path of an actual tornado, I had a full blown panic attack. To me, this is a very rational fear (and my only fear, mind you), and being taken to shelter when the sirens went off at KI would have been great. Tom saw me in such a petrified state that I was sure I was going to freak him out.. I was about one step away from completely losing it. He was finally able to calm me down, but I think the situation could have been handled much better by those who were working.

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A rational reaction to an emergency situation is not uncalled for. When the sirens go off, the park MUST move its guests to shelter. Not doing so is HIGHLY irresponsible. To put it mildly.

I was not in any way impressed with what I saw Friday. Had a tornado actually struck the park, things would not have been good. Especially with the large number of school groups in attendance.

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i remember one random day in 2006 when it started pouring rain and lightning was all around they very strategically ushered everyone to indoor locations, the festhaus, arcade areas, etc... there were no exceptions, and they had all available employees appease guests and make sure noone was roaming around or trying to go out in the mess... im very surprised they didnt take anyone anywhere during the tornado siren...

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We were in a ride's station. The ride ops told US to escort the other guests in the station to Fest House. As we walked in that direction, we saw many guests (and employees) meandering around on the midways. There was on organized group of anyone heading anywhere in particular, from what we saw. Again, I was not impressed. I am very glad there was no actual tornado in the vicinity. This was not a good reaction on the part of the park, from what I saw.

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i agree that the park should have done more.

does anyone else here remember last year when the lady wanted to file a lawsuit over the way Kings Island evacuated everyone from the park and she was left "to fend for herself," or something like that?

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But on a side note, I was there and when the sirens went off, I was thinking, "could that be right?" Haha, me and my friends pretty much ignored them. Good thing a tornado didn't hit. :P

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I personally think that if there were tornado warnings (which there were) the park did the right thing by closing. People's safety has to be the top priority. You have to remember that after they closed the employees were still there cleaning up for a while (I imagine). They need to get the employees out too when tornado warnings exist. Furthermore, had the park stayed open, people who be like "I can't believe they did not evacuate under a tornado warning". The park can't win this one!

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The park closed approximately an hour and a half AFTER the tornado warning sirens sounded. During the interval after the sirens sounded, guests wandered throughout the park, while it rained hard, let up, sprinkled, rained hard again, and then let up.

Closing when the sirens sounded would have been irresponsible, sending people to the highway and cars is not a good idea. But not herding them into shelters was also NOT a good thing.

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I Too Went to KI on Friday evening with the intent of riding the storms out and getting some ride time.. And just for the record, It WAS Crystal clear the rest of the night and no other storm ht the area at all. They announced the park closure as the SUN was starting to come out! Very dissapointed indeed. The Park Director prolly had a Hot Date or something. Ridiculas.

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Last year there were four reports of tornado touchdowns with a 15 to 20-mile radius of the park on a Saturday evening (around 8 or 9ish). Several Park Services employees and I were huddled together in the location where we go to punch in/out for work (mentioning specifics on where it's at would be giving away confidential information) watching it pour down. As it grew worse and worse, the call went out for everyone in the department to meet back at that locale and wait for further instruction. That's when (I believe) the sirens went off and our main supervisor came in and slammed the open door to the outside after ushering close to 200 regular guests inside. Now, from what I remember, Park Services sups (blue shirts) don't carry umbrellas as they just have their rain jackets on like any normal associate (why other blues simply use umbrellas to further distance themselves from lower-ranked associates during a rainstorm is beyond me). Anyway, I'll never forget having a little kid lost amongst all the ruckus, crying because he couldn't find their parents, and soaked from the onslaught of rain. Several of us tried to calm him down as I gave him my 'street' jacket to dry himself off with. Thankfully, his parents were in the building with the rest of us and another associate walked the child over to them; I think we all would have been about as upset as he was if his parents were in another shelter. I was in there for about the rest of the night, so I can't confirm that EVERY blue shirt or full-time employee was out in the rain getting guests to safety, but I do know that because our blues did I would imagine there were a lot of others doing the same thing.

It sounds as if no incident similar to this occurred, or has occurred yet, during any of the big storms that have hit in recent weeks (to where people were being herded into shelter). Maybe it had in small increments but was pushed aside or not big enough to be mentioned. But if the case of no one being sent to shelter (and, by the way, people automatically seek shelter in any from of rainstorm, be it underneath a simple patio umbrella or the Festhaus) or management not scrambling to help the guests do said item (or rather, simply closing early and, from what Terpy said, not properly or poorly announcing it), then my respect for the park's management has dropped even further.

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I was there that Friday.

I went cause I love being in the rain, and lets face it, if you are going to play in the rain, the funnest place to do it is at an amusement park. Also, when the rain dies down, the rides open with no wait time and there's no annoying sun to tan my precious pale skin I've been working on for so many years.

I did hear the siren go off, but I thought it was just for sever thunder storms. I never knew there was a tornado till after I got home that night. So this might be where the confusion was with the employees and the park guests. If they would have replaced the siren with a voice saying something, I'm sure it would have had more of an effect on everyone.

The biggest thing I noticed was there were no shows at all, not one show played all day! So KI should have refunded everyone or gave free tickets for another day. Does anyone know if they did or not?

Also, how KI normally handles bad rainy days, when they do announce the park is closed, the guests are not forced to leave! If they were forced to leave, KI would have to refund them or give them a free ticket for another day for sure, but if they are just left to wonder the entire park for several hours with nothing to do, eventually they will leave on their own. However, the shows have to be going on in order to not refund anyone, or so I thought! In this case not one show ran all day!

I went on another bad rainy day not long after this one if I remember correctly.

On both days I went, I saw about 50 people walking through the park barefoot, and in a small way... POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!! It's a small example of how laws and rules can be broken when done in large groups.

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That's really stupid that people would walk around barefoot, are they that ignorent to safety? If they were to cut their feet, they would blame the park, not thinking "hmm....maybe I should have had my shoes on." Also, sometimes they don't have the shows( performers need a break!), I don't think that justifies a free ticket.

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^^ Wow really? Do you really mean what you say in your posts? Where do you get "your facts"?

There was NOT a tornado warning for Kings Island, Warren County yes, Kings Island no. That why there was never an announcement.

There were no shows, mainly because that was a Friday while schools are in session. A lot of the performers are kids in school. Kind of hard to have a show with no performers. Why should Ki give a refund when there are no shows? If you read their website they will tell you the show schedule. Your fault you went on a day with no shows.

Explain to me how when someone closes their business they do not force customers to leave? That the point of closing is to send your customers home and hope they comeback again.

Your ignorant posts are getting annoying here of late.

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There was NOT a tornado warning for Kings Island, Warren County yes, Kings Island no. That why there was never an announcement.

I agree his ignorant posts are getting annoying, BUT you do realize Kings Island is in Warren County, right? Therefore a tornado warning for Warren County would apply to Kings Island...

Edit - I stand corrected.

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Not necessarily. Watches and warnings can be (and often are) issued only for parts of a county. The reasons that the sirens are set off for the entire county can vary - sometimes it's because of the possibility that the danger could spread to other areas, and other times it's just due to lack of training (those responsible only know how to set off all the sirens in the county).

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That's really stupid that people would walk around barefoot, are they that ignorent to safety? If they were to cut their feet, they would blame the park, not thinking "hmm....maybe I should have had my shoes on." Also, sometimes they don't have the shows( performers need a break!), I don't think that justifies a free ticket.

The park says not to go barefoot, so this alone protects the park from anyone barefoot that gets hurt while barefoot.

Sometimes it's safe, other times it isn't. Just think of all the twigs on the ground. Then again, shoes are unnatural and our entire human race has become like domestic house pets. Why would people go barefoot? Well, if you were caught in the rain and soaked before you could find shelter, your shoes will hold water ruining your shoes and keeping your feet wet even when on dry ground. So funny how a little weather changes everything.

As for your thought of no performers during bad weather doesn't justify a refund or a free ticket, well, it has been Kings Island policy since it opened. Kings Island cannot predict the weather, and most plan a trip or travel very far to get there, so if bad weather prevents all the rides from operating, as long as they have shows going on, the park can say they still had something to do while they were there. This is how it was before and during Paramount owned the park, so it's probably still the same.

^^ Wow really? Do you really mean what you say in your posts? Where do you get "your facts"?

There was NOT a tornado warning for Kings Island, Warren County yes, Kings Island no. That why there was never an announcement.

Explain to me how when someone closes their business they do not force customers to leave? That the point of closing is to send your customers home and hope they comeback again.

Your ignorant posts are getting annoying here of late.

Kings Island is Warren County.

You work in the park, so you should already know. When your supervisor comes to get you, they will tell you they are waiting for the guests to leave. On a day with very bad weather this can take up to four hours after the last ride has closed early due to bad weather. They can announce the rides and park are closed over the speakers, but security doesn't round them up during bad weather, they just have to wait it out.

On this Friday, the rides closed around six something but there were still a few hundred people still in the park around eight after most of the buses had already left.

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Yeah i used to work at the park and when a storm comes, people either runt shelter or leave. By people leaving the park, they would go ahead and close the park because of the attendance. Even in a break of the storm, if another one is coming within miles, they would go ahead and close depending on the storm as they monitor it. I remember one time (back when I was working at TOMB RAIDER....original crew member) I worked the evening shift and I was there for all of 2 hours and they told us to go home because another storm was coming AND IT WAS SUNNY OUTSIDE (this was after the first wave of storms hit that day)

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Not necessarily. Watches and warnings can be (and often are) issued only for parts of a county. The reasons that the sirens are set off for the entire county can vary - sometimes it's because of the possibility that the danger could spread to other areas, and other times it's just due to lack of training (those responsible only know how to set off all the sirens in the county).

You are correct, any kind of warning can be issued for just a small portion of a county (ex. southeast butler county, eastern warren county, etc). In this case, I believe when this tornado warning was issued by the NWS, the warning was only for the eastern portion of the county which clearly doesn't include KI. This explains why the ride operators and other staff members were not sent to their shelters.

I believe when the NWS activates the sirens, they have a switch that activates all sirens in the county, not just those in a certain portion of the county.

Another thing most might not know is that the park has access to a weather radar on the premises so they know what's coming and what has passed.

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As far as it being a policy to take people to shelters: When I heard the tornado sirens go off, all FOUR Racer ride ops working just looked around and asked "Are those tornado sirens?" When I saw on my Blackberry that there was a tornado warning for Mason, I showed one of the ride ops as I was holding back a panic attack (tornadoes are the one thing in this world that terrify me). Her answer was "We have shelters if something happens." I heard one of them say to another ride op "She's like freaking out." DID NOT appreciate that comment, much less not being taken to shelter when I had proof that there was a tornado warning. Yesterday made me very upset.

I am under the impression that The Racer crew that night was not aware of the significance of a tornado warning--a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted or radar shows a tornado may be possible. Even though I visit the park occasionally as a pass holder, I do not know where designated shelters are, especially one that will be close to my current location at a given moment. Therefore, how are guests who visit the park less frequently, especially younger guests who might not even know those things exist, get to one without leadership from park employees? (Perhaps some park employees escorted guests to shelters but all stories so far prove otherwise.)

As for the female ride op and her comment about the shelters, what was she waiting for!? A twister to take out the Skyline Chili up the street before taking advantage of a shelter? Someone from The Racer crew needed to illustrate leadership (or simply common sense) and escort guests to a shelter. If there are rules I do not know about, such as one ride op needs to remain at the ride, there were four people to draw straws.

Maybe I'm being too demanding because I too have been in a tornado.

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Just for clarification, the NWS does not set the sirens off. A county EMA worker or other local official does. (It varies depending on the location and how things are hooked up).

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my best friend KI FANATIC 37 is obviously a big fan of ki and i dont know about why its closed so you can ask him

Okay, every post you made has said something like "I don't know about whatever, ask someone else." If you don't know, don't post. Simple.

Anyways, I can understand why you would be so angry over closing early. I would be, too. But, I would rather leave than have the possibility of only staying inside.

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As far as it being a policy to take people to shelters: When I heard the tornado sirens go off, all FOUR Racer ride ops working just looked around and asked "Are those tornado sirens?" When I saw on my Blackberry that there was a tornado warning for Mason, I showed one of the ride ops as I was holding back a panic attack (tornadoes are the one thing in this world that terrify me). Her answer was "We have shelters if something happens." I heard one of them say to another ride op "She's like freaking out." DID NOT appreciate that comment, much less not being taken to shelter when I had proof that there was a tornado warning. Yesterday made me very upset.

I would guess that they were expecting a call or something? I would expect a call or at least SOME indication of approval if we were suddenly being expected to let guests in our building, sirens or no sirens.

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Just for clarification, the NWS does not set the sirens off. A county EMA worker or other local official does. (It varies depending on the location and how things are hooked up).

Here is everything you wanted to know about torando warnings and more.

First in this area all weather warnings are issued by the National Weather Service out of Wilmington. Watches are issued out of Oklahoma and the storms prediction center.

A Tornado Warning is issued when a trained spotter has confirmed a tornado on the ground or when doppler radar indicates a possible tornado.

The sirens in some cases are sounded when there is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning when a Tornado Watch is issued. This depends on the county. Also with the Emergency Alert System these sirens also can be programmed to sound automatically when a warning is issued.

Under the old Emergency Broadcast System warnings were issued for complete counties, under the Emergency Alert System which was implemented in 1997/98 the ability to issue warnings for "sub divisions" of counties became possible as it is a digital system that works on a web of communication rather than a chain.

The storm in question on May 21, was issued for South Eastern Warren County around the Butlerville area which is 10 miles to the east of Kings Island. The storm was moving away from KI towards Wilmington.

To the poster who gets panic attacks during the storms I completely understand as I survived an F3 tornado that touched down extremely close to my house at the time (light polls across the street were bent at the bottom like a pretzel) in Jan of 2000 in Owensboro, Ky. The power of those storms are nothing to mess with and should be taken serious.

Also a couple of years ago I was on The Beast when a Severe T-storm popped up. That was not a fun ride as hail, lightning, and high winds provided a painful ride on my bald head.

One thing Kings Island should do is when storm warnings are issued is use the PA system to inform and direct guests what to do and where to go. Anything else is irresponsible. As far as workers having umbrellas, during a thunderstorm that would basically be walking around with a lightning rod. Hooded jackets would be much much better option for keeping employees dry.

Also you can not operate rides safely when lightning is in the area as it can travel as far as 30-40 miles away from the center of the storm. The park closing for safety reasons makes the most sense, especially when the storms train the way they did that night.

Scott Evans

Weathercaster - Radio Forecast Network, heard locally on 1160AM mid-6a

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The head managers do have a tornado plan layout map in their offices. The funny thing about this is the employees do not know about it or what to do. Apparently some supervisors know but when asked they said when the time comes they will be told to get their employees and told where to take them.

I guess with so many employees coming and going in the park, they might feel it's pointless to train everyone on emergency procedures. If this is the case, they should at least have the tornado plan layout maps included on all guest maps for the park so it becomes common knowledge.

Before Phantom Theater existed, one location was a back (employee only) entrance to Enchanted Voyage. Since the building was changed, not sure if it is still used.

Another location is The Festhaus.

There were about 5 other locations also, but the others were also (employee only) areas, so without them being marked as where the park guests should go, and without the employees knowing themselves where they all are, the park needs to update this information and make it more widely known.

When I asked one of the supervisors years ago why they are not better prepared for a tornado, they replied Kings Island never got hit by one yet.

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AFAIK, they are told where the closest one to their location is. The ones I know of, from hearing about other tornado incidents, are Action Theater and one of the trailers at BLSC (you can see it from the line, it has a tornado shelter sign on the door.

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Just for clarification, the NWS does not set the sirens off. A county EMA worker or other local official does. (It varies depending on the location and how things are hooked up).

Here is everything you wanted to know about torando warnings and more.

First in this area all weather warnings are issued by the National Weather Service out of Wilmington. Watches are issued out of Oklahoma and the storms prediction center.

A Tornado Warning is issued when a trained spotter has confirmed a tornado on the ground or when doppler radar indicates a possible tornado.

The sirens in some cases are sounded when there is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning when a Tornado Watch is issued. This depends on the county. Also with the Emergency Alert System these sirens also can be programmed to sound automatically when a warning is issued.

Under the old Emergency Broadcast System warnings were issued for complete counties, under the Emergency Alert System which was implemented in 1997/98 the ability to issue warnings for "sub divisions" of counties became possible as it is a digital system that works on a web of communication rather than a chain.

The storm in question on May 21, was issued for South Eastern Warren County around the Butlerville area which is 10 miles to the east of Kings Island. The storm was moving away from KI towards Wilmington.

To the poster who gets panic attacks during the storms I completely understand as I survived an F3 tornado that touched down extremely close to my house at the time (light polls across the street were bent at the bottom like a pretzel) in Jan of 2000 in Owensboro, Ky. The power of those storms are nothing to mess with and should be taken serious.

Also a couple of years ago I was on The Beast when a Severe T-storm popped up. That was not a fun ride as hail, lightning, and high winds provided a painful ride on my bald head.

One thing Kings Island should do is when storm warnings are issued is use the PA system to inform and direct guests what to do and where to go. Anything else is irresponsible. As far as workers having umbrellas, during a thunderstorm that would basically be walking around with a lightning rod. Hooded jackets would be much much better option for keeping employees dry.

Also you can not operate rides safely when lightning is in the area as it can travel as far as 30-40 miles away from the center of the storm. The park closing for safety reasons makes the most sense, especially when the storms train the way they did that night.

Scott Evans

Weathercaster - Radio Forecast Network, heard locally on 1160AM mid-6a

Very interesting!! As a survivor of the Xenia tornado of '74, I am fascinated by all of this. I agree, the park needs to come up with a plan. Selective, I can't believe that sup said they had no plan since the park had never been hit by one. That just floors me. I would like to take that person into Xenia to live for a year-I guarantee their views would change. I suggest management look at contacting Xenia's risk management dept since they have trained other communities in emergency preparedness-lord knows, they are experts on the subject.

I have no problem with the park closing early that night, they did the right thing. Staying in an open area with the storms going on, is just plain stupid. Honestly, I can't understand the complaining on here about KI's decision to close early.

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