IRON RIVER—A water leak from the roof drain at the West Iron District Library caused major damage to the non-fiction book section March 11.
The leak occurred as a result of a frozen drain line that exits the building, which is routed under the parking lot, and empties into a storm drain behind the library. The line had been thawed the morning of March 10, in anticipation of warmer temperatures melting snow on the roof. Water was flowing through the drain at the end of the day.
Overnight the underground pipe refroze, causing the draining rooftop water to back up and continue pooling on the roof. The increased pressure on the center roof drain of the library’s addition caused the roof drain seal to open up and pour water on the book shelves. Water spread throughout approximately half of the addition.
“Staff and volunteers saved thousands of books from the water-damaged area, however, we have lost over 750 books to date,” said Library Director Barbara Bartel. “More losses are anticipated. We have been working non-stop to keep the library and library materials as accessible as possible.”
Currently, the humidity levels in the affected areas are at acceptable levels, and the damaged drywall has been replaced, as well as insulation. Staff and volunteers are working to put the salvaged books back in order. The library is open, with regular hours. Programs and meetings held in the conference room are being rescheduled or relocated.
“We appreciate your patience during this clean-up process, and we will do what we can to get you any resources that you need,” Bartel said.