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Crews continue flood clean-up efforts at Glen Ellyn library; staff hope to reopen Saturday

GLEN ELLYN – About 5 feet of floodwater filled the mechanical room in the sub-basement of the Glen Ellyn Public Library following last week's storms, causing the library to close April 18.

Although there still is much to do to address the damage the library sustained, staff members hope to reopen the facility in time for the Civil War Open House already scheduled for Saturday.

When library executive director Dawn Bussey arrived at the library around 6:30 a.m. April 18 to check for any flooding, she found the library's mechanical room filled with water. The Fire Department brought a small pump to help remove the water from the mechanical room, and village crews arrived not long after with a larger pump to remove floodwaters that had pooled to the north of the building.

Normally, the library's sump pumps are able to keep up with rainwaters, but there was just more water than the equipment could handle, Bussey said. Both sump pumps burned out, although one was fixed on Friday.

In addition to the floodwaters that gathered to the north of the library and seeped into the basement areas, sewage water also overflowed through the bathroom drains on the first floor. Since then, all carpet, dry wall and insulation touched by sewage water have been removed, and the areas have been sanitized.

"That way there's no question," Bussey said. "Everything will be clean, and everything will be in good shape."

Representatives of the Public Works Department told Bussey that it took 30 hours for all the water to be pumped from the building, she said. No library materials were damaged in the flood.

In the basement and mechanical room, crews were working Monday to remove wet dry wall and insulation to prevent molding.

Floodwaters in the sub-basement damaged mechanical equipment, including the library's boilers and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. As of Monday afternoon, equipment still needed to be fixed or replaced, and library staffers were waiting on the availability of certain parts.

At that time, bathrooms in the library were not working as well. In order for a public building to be allowed to operate, bathrooms and air-moving systems must be functional, Bussey said.

As crews continue to clean and repair the facility, library staff members are back at work providing curbside service to library patrons. Residents may use the bookdrop to return materials or call the library between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to pick up materials to borrow using the curbside service.

Bussey said everyone at the library is working hard to reopen Saturday in time for the Civil War Open House. Programming for the exhibit was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Bussey said patrons should call ahead at 630-469-0879 to see if the library is open for the exhibit.

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