The public library in Lowell, Massachusetts, will be closed at least the rest of the week after water from a burst pipe caused what is being described as "catastrophic and costly" damage.
City officials said the pipe, located in the attic of the Pollard Memorial Library, burst sometime over the weekend when the building was closed. The leak wasn't discovered until the library reopened on Monday morning.
Assistant City Manager Michael McGovern said an estimated 5,000 gallons of water poured out — leaking down three floors to the basement.
McGovern says the cleanup process has already begun but it's still not a guarantee when the library can reopen.
"We know that the library now will be closed until Friday and beyond that, we don’t know," he said. "It’s kind of a day-by-day issue we’re looking at now."
City officials said the damage was certainly unexpected and sure to be costly for Lowell with many books and library resources impacted by the water.
"We’re talking about $350,000 — a little bit more, a little bit less — that wasn’t budgeted for. And now we have to come up with that money to make the necessary repairs," McGovern said.
A crew started removing the water on Monday and by Wednesday, the drying process began with large dehumidifiers. Once the moisture is removed and the newly placed carpet tiles are tossed, city officials will be able to get a better assessment of the exact cost of damage.
"DPW, which is now involved with the repair of the building, takes them away from other projects that they have going on at the high school and fire stations that we have been dealing with in regards to heating issues," McGovern said.