Boone County Historical & Railroad Society, Inc.
 
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Water line bursts in museum;
third-floor break drips to basement
September 7, 2008
By Dwain Lair, Times Staff
Boone County Historical Society members received an alert at 6 Tuesday morning. Alarms were going off in its museum on the corner of Central Avenue and Cherry Street.
Board members Fred Hudson and Norman Rowe said board president Jim Milum went to the museum and found water 3 to 4 inches deep on the first floor.
He contacted Rowe, who went in the basement and turned off the water for the historic school building.
This historic quilt and vintage water fountain reflect off water Tuesday afternoon on the landing between the first and second floors of the Boone County Heritage Museum
This historic quilt and vintage water fountain reflect off water Tuesday afternoon on the landing between the first and second floors of the Boone County Heritage Museum. (Staff Photo/Dwain Lair)
By Tuesday afternoon, water was being sucked out of the building. Water drained from above the ceiling tiles, sounding like a cave as drops splattered on concrete floors.
Rowe and Hudson said 2,100 gallons or water were suctioned out of the building and disposed of Tuesday. The museum was closed all week, except for exceptions for out-of-state visitors Thursday, as board members cleaned and dried the museum and its historic items.
Rowe said the water leak was on the third floor where a plastic supply line to an unused sink in an old art classroom burst. He and Hudson said water ran across the concrete floor, then down the walls and through electrical outlets.
Former museum director Marilyn Breece said much of the damage was limited to exhibits hanging on walls or displayed on the floor. On the third floor, a poster of former Chief Justice Jack Holt suffered a top to bottom water stain, and an historic map on the wall also had a water stain.
Looking at a group of pictures on the wall, she removed one with soaked backing.
Sitting in a downstairs meeting room, board members said they have no idea how much damages will total, either financially or to artifacts.
They already had spent $400 for a plumber to make repairs, and they promise residents the museum wonít face a repeat of the water disaster.
They still hadnít paid for water removal or deodorizing the old building, and electrical repairs are planned.
And throughout the drying out process, they will continue inspecting up to 80 percent of the artifacts for water damage.
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