The Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show in Hershey, Pa., will open as scheduled at 9 a.m. EST today (Sept. 12) for the first of two Industry Days.
Undeterred by torrential rainfall from Tropical Storm Lee, which inundated portions of central Pennsylvania on Sept. 7, show sponsors continued to move forward last week and over the weekend to get the 1,000 RVs on site for this morning’s opening.
“We were never hit by the high water,” stressed Becky Lennington, executive director of the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA), told Woodalls Campground Management. But she concedes “it was tough, sitting in last week’s rain,” and not knowing how it might affect the event, touted as the nation’s largest retail RV show.
Lennington said the only units that did not make it on-site were some of the 12-foot-wide park models, which were restricted by area road closings. The state of emergency has since been lifted and all major arterial roads are now open, she added, noting, “Half of them made it in, the rest will come in today.”
The weather forecast today is a good one with temperatures in the 80s and dry. “RV folks are tough. It’s another one for the books,” Lenningyon said.
Sponsors are still hoping that media reports of the bad weather will not stunt the expected crowd of 35,000 that is projected to attend the show’s Public Days, which begin Wednesday and run into the weekend. Like the rain, show advertising saturated outlets in the East, from which the show draws its major attendance. The show website also states in bold print: “The local flooding has had NO impact on the Show.” HGTV is also still scheduled to film its annual look at RVs during this event.
From a distance, few vestiges of one of central Pennsylvania’s worst flooding episodes remain, neighborhood upon neighborhood having returned to normalcy by weekend’s end, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported. The Susquehanna River, which crested at a 25.17 feet Friday, had by Sunday night dropped to 15 feet and was to drop below 11 feet by midweek.
As of Sunday, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency was listing 13 deaths as possibly storm-related: three in Lancaster County, two each in Dauphin, Bradford and Lebanon counties, and one each in Chester, Luzerne, York and Philadelphia counties.