Washington County Public Library deals with damaging floodwaters

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CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) — As water levels start to recede, many businesses and roadways have reopened, but there is still one facility in Chipley dealing with damaging floodwaters.

Washington County’s Public Library can still see the impacts of Hurricane Sally. Debris and leaves are still on the floor where water levels rose over the past few days.

On the first level of shelving, there are no books, and they are unsure as to when they will be able to replace them once again.

“Well, we got a little surprised with Hurricane Sally,” said Renae Rountree, Washington County Public Library director.

Rountree said she was nervous when first pulling into the parking lot Wednesday.

“We had no idea we would take in this amount of water this fast,” Rountree said. “At one point, there was a boat in our parking lot Wednesday.”

Even though the library is just a few feet up from the parking lot, Rountree said the entire library took half a foot of water.

“We hate it because it means we are going to lose a lot of our items on lower shelves,” Rountree said.

Children’s bookshelves and many others will have to stay empty for now.

“We received what is called black water, which is the nastiest kind of floodwater you can get,” said Rountree.

But Rountree said this is not the first natural disaster they have had to work through. 

“It is tough, but you know, we will repurchase and we have insurance,” Rountree said.

These books are being boxed up until and held in a refrigerated truck to preserve them until the building is repaired. 

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