Sewage damages Havre library basement
Library open again today, carpet to be replaced, no books were damaged
January 17, 2014
A sewer problem led to the closing of the Havre library Thursday, but it mostly re-opened today with plans being made to replace damaged carpet.
Library director Rachel Rawn said this morning that sewage backed up into the basement of the library, creating a health hazard and closing the institution shortly after noon Thursday.
Overcast Restoration removed the sections of damaged carpets, and Brandon’s Drapery and Floor Covering already has taken measurements to provide a replacement estimate, which will be covered under the city insurance, Rawn said. The city owns the building, the former Havre clinic, where the library was moved after the Havre and Hill County libraries were consolidated.
Rawn said the sewer backing up apparently came from people flushing things that shouldn’t have been flushed down the toilet — the plumber called in removed a couple of paper towels, along with a small metal pin — that were causing the blockage.
“We have had a lot of strange things flushed down here,” Rawn added.
The closure caused a few meetings to be canceled, and pushed back the library’s winter reading program.
Carol Reifschneider was scheduled to lead a discussion of “Letters of a Woman Homesteader” Thursday at 7 p.m. That now has been rescheduled for Jan. 30, Rawn said.
It also pushed back the rest of the winter reading series, with the other discussions in the series now continuing through March 13.
Rawn said no displays or books in the library’s collection were damaged, but it has caused parts of the library, primarily in the children’s section, to be blocked off for the moment.
The damage occurred in three spots, one in the northeastern corner of the basement, another near the staff bathroom, and a third location in the middle of the section.
Rawn said completing the carpet replacement might take a while.
“We’re probably going to have to move a ton of shelving and books,” she said. “It might be a while before we’re completely the same again.”