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Preservation Department



Disaster Response



Saturday October 30, 2004

at 8PM a flash flood surged through the ground floor of Hamilton Library.

flood response




flood damage



Everything in the path of the water was thrown against structural walls.



flood response










Silt was everywhere in map drawers, in between maps; there were even fish in the Library’s server room.







This map shows path of the water down Manoa valley, across Maile way into the Library.

flood map




flood damage


The evening of October 30th the flood waters were still high in the ground floor and we could make a comprehensive assessment. However key staff met to determine priorities (rescue maps and aerial photographs of Hawaii and the Pacific region).

flood response


The Library Preservation Department staff were prepared to respond – we had a disaster plan in place and staff were trained. Our first goal was to move materials out of the mud into a freezers as fast as possible.

flood response





Five freezer containers were delivered Sunday evening and by Monday morning staff began moving maps out of the building to a staging area and then loading them into the containers.



flood response




Following this same procedure the aerial photographs were also frozen.

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To prevent a mold outbreat (secondary disaster) the remaining five floors of Hamilton Library needed to have cool dry air brought in using generators. There was no electricity for three months while a temporary solution was created to override the damaged infrastructure.

flood damage

The dry air was cirulated on every floor and indeed prevented a mold outbreak. Library staff and students paged books for patrons in the dimly lit library.

flood damage


continue to: Disaster Recovery

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