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Statesboro library expected to reopen Wednesday

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The Statesboro Regional Library is expected to reopen Wednesday after being closed since last Thursday afternoon due to the effects of a violent rainstorm.

            Workers pumped about 1,300 gallons of water from the Statesboro Regional Library over the weekend. A roofing company was in the process of replacing the library roof when the downpour came. While a temporary roof was in place, it wasn't strong enough to stop a ferocious torrent that came and went in less than 30 minutes, drenching parts of the inside of the library.

            "But the books are OK," said regional library director Lois Roberts, who along with her husband spent the night at the library, taking turns emptying buckets of water and helping clean up the mess.

            Roberts said there is not yet an estimate on the cost of the damages, but the roofing company, Roofing Professionals Inc. from Richmond Hill will assume responsibility. The company has been very helpful and cooperative, she said. "They were caught with their roof down."

            "We're drying out well," she said, adding that contractors spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday with library personnel cleaning up the mess. Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch, county Public Safety Director Ted Wynn, the Correctional Institute's Billy Tompkins and inmates "helped us pour buckets" and perform other clean up tasks, Roberts said.

            Ceiling tiles were damaged and offices were soaked, but the books – including valuable collections in the library's genealogy section – were left high and dry.

            Still, Servpro pumped out about 850 gallons of  water, and other volunteers dumped "about 400 to 500 gallons" by bucket, she said. "Everybody has been pitching in."

            Library employees teased her about a class she was taking: " ... on how to write a disaster plan," she said. "They asked if I planned this as a class project."

            The library will be used Tuesday for a planned meeting and is expected to reopen Wednesday to the public, she said. The roof replacement has been a long-awaited project. "The roof has been leaking for years."

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