Saturday October 30, 2004
at 8PM a flash flood surged
through the ground floor of Hamilton Library.
Everything in the path of
the water was thrown against structural walls.
Silt was everywhere in map drawers, in between maps; there
were even fish in the Library’s server room.
shows path of the water down Manoa valley, across Maile
way into the Library.
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
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.
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.
Following this same procedure the aerial photographs were
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.
continue to: Disaster
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.