Thursday, August 06, 2009

Library damages

From the CJ:
The Main Library that was heavily damaged by Tuesday's flooding will remain closed until at least Labor Day.

And even then, the best hope is to get one floor open and have limited operations, using emergency mechanical systems, said Craig Buthod, Louisville Free Public Library director.

The Main Library at Third and York streets remained dark Thursday, after a fire Wednesday morning knocked out power throughout the entire facility. Buthod said library officials hoped to have power restored by Friday morning.

Buthod stood by his estimate of damage at the Main Library of $5 million, including about 50,000 books, dozens of computers, four elevators, three bookmobiles, extensive furniture and finishings, and all or most of the building's boilers, chillers, air handlers and other mechanical systems. Library computers system-wide remained out of commission.

Most of the 4 feet of water that flooded the basement had been pumped out by Thursday afternoon. Buthod said water Tuesday morning poured in from at least four places — down a ramp and into a garage, down elevator shafts from roof drains, through window wells and from backed up sewers. He said alarms sounded again and again but the rainwater “simply came in too quick.”

“I saw water go from 4 inches to 36 inches in less than 15 minutes,” Buthod said of the flooding.

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