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Flooded: C.E. Weldon Library closed for up to a month

Flooded: C.E. Weldon Library closed for up to a month
News Editor
MARTIN – The cleanup continues at C.E. Weldon Public Library.
It will remain closed for up to a month due to a pipe-burst Jan. 15 that sent water spewing from the men’s bathroom into the library.
About 200 children’s books were destroyed by the water.
The burst occurred where a pipe from a wall was welded into a coupling to the commode.
“It was like Old Faithful,” Library Director Roberta Peacock said. “It was hitting the ceiling when it came out.”
The frigid temperature outside the building that night had nothing to do with the burst, Peacock said.
“The plumber was mystified,” she said. “He said he’d never seen a pipe come apart like that. It was amazing to him that it broke there.”
The water poured out of the men’s bathroom for about 20 minutes, ran all the way to the front of the library, back to the east wall and almost to the computer tables. It also went through the floor of the bathroom and through the ceiling of the downstairs basement.
Tiles in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms will have to be replaced. Ceiling tiles and all carpet on the main floor of the old part of the building will have to be replaced. The circulation desk was completely ruined, and some other furniture will need to be replaced.
Downstairs in the basement area, ceiling tiles will need to be replaced along with a section of sheet rock. Carpet in the basement area is salvageable because it’s glued directly to the concrete.
“They’re going to clean it and make sure it doesn’t have any mold in it or anything like that,” Peacock said.
In the children’s section downstairs, about 200 paperback books were damaged and lost. The children’s section is directly below the men’s bathroom.
“We thought we were going to lose some computers because water was coming down on top of them or they were sitting in water,” Peacock said. “So far, they are working. I don’t know how long they’re going to work.”
Some keyboards and printers were destroyed.
The library receives between 80,000 and 90,000 visits annually, Peacock said.
She said the disappointment of library patrons is obvious when told the library could be closed for up to another month. She said it’s been especially hard on those who come to use the computers.
“You almost start seeing them going into withdrawal symptoms,” she said. “Everybody is very anxious for us to open up again.”
Damage estimates are not yet known, Peacock said, adding that she will know once an insurance adjuster completes a report.
Published in The WCP 1.24.13

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