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The story behind that viral Schenectady Rivers Casino storm video

The story behind that viral Schenectady Rivers Casino storm video

The story behind that viral Schenectady Rivers Casino storm video
Stills from Louis Carciobolo
Photographer: Louis Carciobolo (insets); Gazette file photo (background)

SCHENECTADY — They expected a flood of winnings.

But didn’t expect Noah’s Ark. 

The morning after a fast-moving storm slammed Schenectady on Sunday afternoon, Louis Carciobolo was eating breakfast at a Ballston Spa diner when the morning news featured the now-viral video of water moving quickly through Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady.

Carciobolo mentioned off-hand that he was the cameraman. 

“My relatives saw that in Ireland,” the waitress said. 

And he overheard a similar discussion from nearby diners at Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse.

By Monday morning, the 48-second video Carciobolo posted to Facebook was closing in on 216,000 views — and climbing. 

“This is insane,” he said.

Carciobolo, owner of Louis Jewelers in Queensbury, was enjoying an afternoon at the casino when DirectTV went out; the lights began to flicker and storm advisories blanketed television.

He went out to the enclosed smoker’s patio to watch the storm.

Then the water came. 

Louis Carciobolo's video, as seen on Facebook:

“All of a sudden, it was like someone opened up a tap,” Carciobolo said. “It was gushing out so fast. We didn’t know if the area was going to fill up.”

Carciobolo’s video depicts water rushing in from an off-camera location as patrons seek cover. At least one person could be seen escorted to safety by a casino staffer.

“It just caught everybody off guard,” said Carciobolo, who lives in Ballston Spa.

Witnesses were largely unfazed, he said.

No one was hurt, and damage was minor, said Justin Moore, general manager of the Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, who attributed the sudden blast to a clogged drain pipe.

Also: 

“Despite the heavy water flow, the slot machines in that area were not damaged,” Moore said.

The inside of the casino itself had no damage or power outages and remained open throughout the storm. 

The strong winds also sent part of a tent through a hotel lobby window, which ultimately generated more attention inside the facility than the flood, Carciobolo said.

He stuck around after the storm. 

He also got himself back above water, the gambling kind.

“Before the flood, I was down,” Carciobolo said. “But ended up leaving ahead.”

Another unexpected bonus was the media attention and flurry of activity on Facebook.

“This is not what I expected,” he said. “It just exploded. My phone went nuts.”

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