Some aquatics facilities in the path of hurricanes Harvey and Irma still are picking up the pieces. But they have proven stronger than hurricane-force winds.

Hurricane Harvey was the first to strike the United States during the hurricane season, making landfall on August 25. The Category 4 hurricane dropped 40-61 inches of rain in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. “It dumped rain and it just didn’t stop,” said Scott Johnson, parks and recreation director of Baytown, Texas. “We didn’t get the wind, thank goodness, but we got lots of water — about 57 inches.”

Pirates Bay Waterpark in Baytown lost power to one of its pump pits during the storm, causing the sump pumps to fail. This led to 3-4 feet of flood waters making their way to the pump pit, damaging the operating equipment. However, this was the worst of the damage, Johnson said.

The park closed for about two weeks, but reopened in time for the Labor Day weekend, with some attractions not yet up and running. Attendance wasn’t very high, but it was more important for the community to see things getting back to normal, Johnson said. The property is on track to open next season, and management may purchase a pump-pit back-up generator to prevent power losses in the future.

American Pool Houston, which manages and maintains approximately 45 homeowners’ association pools in the Houston area, mostly dealt with chemical imbalance issues after Harvey, said Brooks Wedeking, president of the firm. A few pools had to be drained and refilled if imbalances were extreme or black algae began to bloom. However, most damaged pools were treated with flocculants, vacuuming, and filter sand replacement, he said. About 90% of the company’s pools that required post-hurricane maintenance were up and running 2-3 weeks after the storm. Some pools remain in poor shape due to insurance claim issues.

Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on September 10. But, rather than the flood waters that ravaged the Houston area, high winds made more of an impact in the Sunshine State, leading to massive rubble and power outages.

Sun Splash Family Waterpark in Cape Coral, Fla., had to close down for two weeks due to power failure. “We would have been able to open sooner, but without power there was no hope of opening back up,” said Sandie Greiner, manager.

Immediately after the storm, park management faced plenty of challenges, including downed trees that blocked the park’s entrance, and murky water flowing in from nearby Lake Kennedy. “All the water was brown, and you couldn’t see to the bottom,” Greiner said. “So we were just wondering what was down there: fish, alligators, snakes…we didn’t know.”

Luckily, no reptiles were found splashing around near the waterslides. Once power was restored, staffers were relieved to find that the operating equipment went undamaged.

The attractions and equipment at Rapids Water Park in West Palm Beach Fla., were spared as well. However, employees did return to the park to find piles of debris. “It was just a big mess,” said Bryan Megrath, general manager. “About 15 dumpsters…were literally filled with tree and landscape debris.”

A maintenance building also sustained damage, thanks to an unknown object that created an 8-to-10-foot gash in the front door. “It almost looked like someone took a razor blade and sliced the metal,” Megrath said.

Thanks to minimal damage, a strong clean-up crew, and a post-Labor Day weekend-only operating schedule, the park only lost one weekend of business.