Rochester Public Library reopens after weekend flooding

Recovery efforts continuing. Most library events cancelled or relocated.

Posted: Sep 25, 2019 4:03 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – If you open it, they will come.

People turned out as the Rochester Public Library opened its doors Wednesday for the first time in four days after a water softener leak flooded all three floors of the building.

“We were able to reopen the entire first floor of the building,” says Library Director Audrey Betcher, “and cleanup on the second floor is continuing.”

Betcher says staff from other city departments helped with recovery efforts Wednesday afternoon. “This entire event has demonstrated what a strong team we have at the city,” she says. “They were part of the first response, and that assistance continues.”

The Rochester Art Center is also providing space for library storage until repairs are complete.

“People have commented about how grateful they are to see us back open,” says Betcher, “and that reminds us all how essential the library is in our community.”

There is still no estimate on how much damage the flooding caused.

The library’s first floor is open regular hours and the Bookmobile is operating on a regular schedule. A majority of the library’s programs and events have either been cancelled or moved to other locations.

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