St. George Library floods for 3rd time after heavy rains

The aftermath of a flood that swept through the basement of the St. George Library, 88 W. 100 South, St. George, Utah, Aug. 27, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Michelle Clements, St. George News

ST. GEORGEHeavy rains flooded the basement of the St. George Branch of the Washington County Library, 88 W. 100 South in St. George, Tuesday evening, and all meeting rooms are expected to be closed and some services suspended for the next 6-8 weeks for needed repairs.

Since 2006, when the St. George Library was built, the basement — utilized for technical services, children’s storytime and meetings — has flooded three times, but this time was the worst, Michelle Clements, administrative specialist for the Washington County Library System, said.

The aftermath of the flood that swept through the basement of the St. George Library, 88 W. 100 South, St. George, Utah, Aug. 27, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Michelle Clements, St. George News
The aftermath of a flood that swept through the basement of the St. George Library, 88 W. 100 South, St. George, Utah, Aug. 27, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Michelle Clements, St. George News

“The janitors were here when it happened,” Clements said. “They went down the stairs because the elevator wasn’t working and the whole bottom floor was filled with water.”

Rain spread over the sidewalk outside the library and spilled over the retaining wall, which lies on the north side of the building, filling up the spaceand then pushing through the steel door into the library’s basement, Washington County Library System Assistant Director Alan Anderson said.

The water damaged everything from books, CDs and DVDs to office supplies, desks and even the library staff’s refrigerator. At some point, the water lifted stacks of 50-pound boxes and moved them across the floor, Anderson said.

“Water is good when it does what it is supposed to do,” he said. “But we are hoping to be back to normal in around 6 to 8 weeks.”

Needed restoration projects for the library include replacing carpet, sheet rock and insulation and slowly replacing the books, audiobooks and movies that were lost.

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19 Comments

  • bobber August 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    what’s that old saying: You fool me once…

    1st time: fooled
    2nd time: fooled
    3rd time: fooled

    Who the f— is managing this building? A bunch of retards? or just idiots?

  • bobber August 29, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    hurrrrrrrr durrrrrrr,,, how bout some fairly simple flood control measures and a pump for the basement? maybe a place to start?

  • ladybugavenger August 29, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Let’s repair and replace everything so then we can lose it again when it floods the fourth time

  • vitocheeto August 30, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Well considering there is a massive approximately 2000 gal a minute pump in the basement and it couldn’t touch the amount of water that came in. Not to mention the county owns the building and st george city owns the dirt around the building, landscaping, and yes you guessed it, the drainage. So the county library, who manages the building is at fault? Lets not forget that over an inch of rain fell in 20 minutes. That is over 125000 gallons behind the library alone not to mention the water coming down off the boulevard and tabernacle. So check your facts so I dont have to make YOU look like an idiot.

    • DAVE RABBITT September 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      VITOCHEETO – It actually is feasible -and here’s why:

      The St. George Library is a three-story building with a total of approximately 20,500 square feet. Even if the basement was 1/3 of that square footage, the basement would have an area of 6833.3333 sq. ft.

      With 1 foot of water in the basement, there would be 82,000 cu ft. of water, which equates to 613,402.6 gallons.
      Aquiring a pump rated @ 2,000 gallons per minute would be to costly and too massive. More practical, is a pump rated at 10,200gph

      http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200611457_200611457
      Flotec Cast Iron Sewage Pump — 10,200 GPH, 3/4 HP, 2in. Ports, Model# E75STVT $330

      It would take abour 60 hrs to drain the basement of a foot of water, but for about $1,000, you could have three running and empty it in less than a day.

      I have no idea how you came up with a figure of 125,000 gallons, but if that number was correct, it would take one of those pumps only about 12-1/4 hours (half a day) to get rid of the water.

      … Now – If your ” mention of a “2000 gal a minute pump”, is a typo and meant to read: “2000 gal per hour”, then yes – I would agree that small of a pump would take 62.5 hours to get rid of your “125,000 gallons of water” – or in my scenario of “613,402 gallons” ; almost 13 days.

  • killjoy August 30, 2014 at 1:26 am

    3 times flooded! Wow!
    It would be really good to get some better flood prevention there right away. To see all those ruined books makes me cringe.

  • Lucy Ormond August 30, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Sounds like an engineer needs to look at the way the water got into the building and build a diversion dam outside the building. After all, this is the THIRD time the library has flooded in the same manner.

  • Mary August 30, 2014 at 7:12 am

    So No one resolved the poor drainage issue after the 1st flood ?

    Has there been a change in admin and the new guys were Not briefed on the issues ?

    WHY THREE times ?

  • bobber August 30, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Maybe whoever was supposed to address the flooding issues had more important church obligations to attend to, or maybe it was something involving a horse or dog. We may never know…

  • Betsy August 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I forgot, why did they do away with flood St? It was so much fun and it was part of the solution and not the problem.

  • DB August 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Maybe THIS is why the public computers are upstairs now…

  • groanattack August 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    WOW! This town is full of ST.UPID

  • M and M cookies August 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I remember we did not vote for the library, we voted to put a second level on the existing library, but we know who was in charge of the decision making, the mayor and city manager SA by the fence discussing their plans for downtown, not what the voters wanted …. When I go in the library I see a lot of deteriorating and homeless love cooing off there… Why have a basment ??? Wo are the people who designed the building, and metal doors that leak?? fix it right or close it…

  • bobber August 30, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Should have left the water in the basement. It could be turned into a fun underground water park to compliment the carousel.

  • TheDude August 31, 2014 at 5:16 am

    Ah Utah and love affair with the basement. It seems that after every rain a basement or two floods. Insurance should double to have one of these in dank windowless half remodeled Radon filled dungeons.

  • Char August 31, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    No money to do it right to begin with, but plenty of money to redo redo redo but never fixing……

  • Never without a paddle September 9, 2014 at 8:58 am

    How many MILLIONS of dollars was the bond to upgrade the library? “We need to, uh, build a new library, because, uh, the, uh, existing facility, uh, doesn’t look like it was built 120 years ago, uh, and that’s the, uh, assthetic – did I say that right, Mickey? – that we’re lookin’ fer. Oh, you were reading another poem you wrote? Sorry to disturb you, Sir – back to what I was saying, uh, we need to get rid of the existing library… What? The roof works fine? Well, it just has to go. Where will the new library be built? Well, we have a masturplan that we’ll use to force people out of their homes so we can make a pretty park-thingy. Thanks for your votes!”

  • samotsu September 9, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I hope this latest rainfall will wake up the city fathers as to how and where they are handing out building permits. Many homes are flooded because of the massive building in areas just quite frankly should not be built on. We are only seeing the beginning of the possible destruction. The water has no place to go, and now there is nothing to stop it because of the land cleared for new developments. i.e. Ivens new homes at the base of Puerto, and so many,many more throughout our beautiful area.
    The building greed and yearning for more tax dollars is coming home to roost, and who suffers but us little folk.

  • samotsu September 9, 2014 at 11:47 am

    How about the Spectrum doing an honest upscale editorial on the flooding problems inherent with all of the construction and new homes being built. The desert cannot support all of the homes. Where are the engineers and inspectors. It appears many palms are being greased for building permits that should never have been issued in the first place. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING SHOULD BE ALIVE AND WELL, HOPE SOMEONE HAS THE GUTS TO DO IT.

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