In the late summer of 2011, North Star Bowl in Vermont was clobbered by the 'elements' when Mother Nature struck hard with Hurricane Irene, resulting in major flood damage to the bowling center. On June 29, 2012, another bowling establishment became victim of a violent weather slam as Rinaldi's Bowling Lanes in Riverdale, Maryland was hit by a devastating tornado.
On what was the hottest day of the year, in which temperatures reached 104 degrees earlier in the afternoon in the Washington metropolitan area, no one expected the weather to break in the ferocious manner that would occur.
At around 9:15 pm in the middle of the 2nd game of the Friday Night Fellowship League, one of the employees at Rinaldi's Riverdale noticed a lot of wind kicking up outside the bowling alley. When he went out to investigate, he was met by the Maryland police who were ushering people back into the bowling center, as the local authorities had been alerted to the sudden impending disaster.
Moments later, the bowling center experienced a blackout, and heavy winds met the front side of the 'house'. Brutal gusts tore the front part of the roof off the building and soon the patrons in the darkened alley began hearing water start to pour onto the lanes. It wasn't long before practically all lanes in the center were being doused with water.
Play was suspended, and when the storm passed, customers were sent home. A few of the bowlers were further inconvenienced when they found that several cars in the parking lot were the targets of fallen trees.
With water damage on top and underneath the lane surface, restoration for Rinaldi's Lanes will be a slow and costly process, and business isn't expected to resume until some time in October, which is awkward for the leagues scheduled to start around Labor Day.
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