Burst pipe at West Library closes branch, causes water damage to books, computers, furnishings

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West Library devastated by a broken pipe.

MANCHESTER, NH – The city’s West Library, 76 Main St., will be closed until further notice, due to damage from a burst pipe on  Feb. 17 by a custodian.

Damage to the West Library due to a burst pipe.
Damage to the West Library due to a burst pipe.

According to a letter send to the Board of Aldermen by library Director Denise van Zanten,  the city facilities division and the Aramark staff quickly worked to address the problem.  Unfortunately the five-inch sprinkler line pipe burst at around 5:40 p.m. with city staff on site.  Water works had already been called to the site and was trying to turn off the water from the street.  Due to the weather this took a great deal of time and the influx of water was rapid, wrote van Zanten.  By 9:45 p.m. the water was off and the Fire Department began to pump out the library’s lower level.

As a result of water damage, a “good portion of the branch’s adult collection of books, audio books and reference materials” along with  computer work stations and the teen area ended up under approximately five-feet of water.

Water damage at the West Library.
Water damage at the West Library.

Although the library staff is working to save about 3,500 library books and audio books, which will be moved to the library’s main branch on Feb. 19, the rest of the collection, as well as most of the furnishings, electric baseboards, all computer equipment, phones, small appliances – are damaged beyond repair according to van Zanten.

All flooring will have to be removed to prevent mold. And van Zanten noted the responsiveness of city workers and staff, and that there were thankfully no injuries or loss of irreplaceable items.

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About Carol Robidoux 5853 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!