Cheryl Groulx and her daughter Kelea returned books yesterday but wanted to check them out again today only to find the library was closed when they arrived. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

UPDATED: Damage control underway as flood closes Saanich library, recreation centre

Extent of the damage unknown at this point

A overnight flood dampened a few smiles Friday as library goers gathered outside the Greater Victoria Pubic Library Saanich Centennial Branch, unable to return or check out any books.

A broken water pipe forced the library to close due to two to three inches of water inside the building. The water in the G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre was turned off and the building closed.

Cheryl Groulx and her daughter Kelea returned books Thursday but wanted to check them out again Friday.

“She got really upset when we dropped them off because she’s three and didn’t realize we couldn’t get them back, so she’s been crying for the past 24-hours,” says Groulx.

READ ALSO: City of Langford offers $10,000 in payouts to residents who suffered flood damage

Groulx reserved a book online, called Oh My, Oh No late last night — a suitable title for what they found on Friday morning. The library and recreation centre entrance were roped off and big remediation trucks were parked close by.

According to Kelli-Ann Armstrong, spokesperson for Saanich Parks and Recreation, the carpet in the library is completely soaked but the stacks of books seem to be okay. Luckily most of the shelves inside the library are two to three inches off the ground, so while some may be damaged the majority of the books should be okay.

Armstrong says what they’re worried about now is the humidity due to the soaked carpet. Teams of people are working on soaking up as much water as possible and then fans will be deployed to assist in the drying process.

While the cause of the water-main break is unknown, a plumbing company is working to repair it. Armstrong says she’s unsure of when the library will reopen.

READ ALSO: Flood victims in Grand Forks, B.C., in limbo more than one year after disaster

“We’re hopeful the rec centre will be open tomorrow,” she said Friday afternoon. “But things can change as we move through our plan.”

A drop box is in the works for people to return their books outside the library, but Armstrong says it may be awhile before that it’s set up. In the mean time people can drop loaned books at any of the other public libraries.

“We’re very sorry, not that we had anything to do with this, but we know it’s a real impact to the community,” she says. “We’re working really hard to get everything back to operational as fast as we can.”



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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The Saanich Archives are being moved out of the building and a damage assessment will be done soon. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Crews work to repair damage caused by a significant flood at Pearkes recreation centre in Saanich. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

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