Flood damages exceed $125,000 at Washington County St. George Branch

- ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) -The basement of the Washington County Library St. George Branch is now unrecognizable.

Librarians say they lost hundreds of books after heavy floods hit the city last Tuesday.

"Seeing the books and the devastation just made me heartsick. When I first came down, I looked in my area where I normally work and it was filled with books where I knew I had ordered recently," said Elizabeth Meyers.

It's the third time the library has flooded. Previously, the directors of the library system worked with city council members to build a concrete wall by the basement windows to prevent a flood but this time around, the water poured over the air conditioner unit and through a steel door.

"It was about 6 inches deep, then I went from there to our office area which had filled up to about three feet of water," said Joel Tucker, the Director of the St. George Branch.

From ruined books to damaged dry wall, everything has to be replaced. Tucker says the costs to repair damages will exceed over $125,000.

While the library waits on the final evaluation of damages from the insurance company, residents in St. George say this shouldn't have happened.

"We utilize the library weekly. I just feel like there must be something somebody can do to prevent this from happening. It should have been prevented, I'd say, after the first time, for sure after the second time, and absolutely for the third time," said Gene Winters.

Sharon Peck said, "I would like to see it repaired right away. I know a lot of people really use those computers extensively so I think it would be good to get it up and going really fast."

The library staff is working with the city and engineers to ensure that this doesn't happen again. They hope to reopen the basement facilities to the public within the month. 

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