Library in W.Va. drying out after water gets in

July 07, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

BOLIVAR, W.Va. - Commercial dehumidifiers hummed in the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library Thursday afternoon following a night of heavy rains that caused water to enter a new addition to the library.

Local officials responded to the library along Spruce Street Wednesday about 8 p.m. after water began entering the addition.

Officials said a new storm drain outside the addition was too high, and the water from Wednesday night's rains bypassed the drain and flowed down an embankment next to the addition.

The water seeped into the library and reached about 6 feet across some carpeting.

Firefighters from Friendship Fire Co. used equipment to suck the water out of the building, and local officials placed makeshift dikes along Spruce Street to prevent more water from washing toward the library, officials said.

The water did not hurt any materials in the library, and it appears it did not cause any obvious damage to the building, librarian Nancy Manuel said.


Commercial dehumidifiers were set up in the library Thursday to help dry out the carpet, library officials said.

Manuel said workers in charge of building the addition were under the assumption that curbs would be installed along Spruce Street to direct storm water into the drain.

Officials were assessing the situation Thursday, and one of the solutions discussed was to add another storm drain along the edge of a new parking lot where water washed across Spruce Street Wednesday night and to add curbs along the road, said Toni Milbourne, president of the library's board of directors.

Workers made some modifications to the drain system around the library Thursday to help protect the building if heavy rains return, said Bob Hardy, a member of the Bolivar Town Council.

Earlier this year, the library opened the addition, which is about 60 feet by 35 feet. The addition freed up more working space in the library, and allowed library officials to double the space they offered for adult books.

Demand for the library's services has been growing, and there has been an annual circulation increase of about 4,000 items in the last 10 years, library officials have said.

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