LITTLE VALLEY — The Memorial Library of Little Valley is closed until further notice after flooding damage over Fourth of July weekend.
Volunteers are working to move thousands of books off the shelves along the outer walls, which were most affected by the two feet of water that surrounded the building last Saturday after the Little Valley Creek overflowed its banks.
“When the water came down the street, it went under our walls and soaked up into the drywall,” library director Linda McCubbins explained. “Now, we have to remove everything off the walls and they’re going to take off two feet of the drywall.”
The library is asking for help this Saturday to move more than 10,000 books from the library to the former Little Valley School across the street. Starting at 9 a.m., McCubbins said they will take boxes out the side door and transport them in trucks to the school where another team will unload the boxes and move them into the gym.
“We’re boxing them up right now,” she said. “We’re asking for trucks and bodies and dollies.”
Thankfully, McCubbins said not a single book was lost and only a couple inches of water soaked in a few feet from the 4,200-square-foot building’s walls.
“The most we got in the library was an inch or two right by the door ways,” she said. “We didn’t have any idea it had actually come through the walls.”
Although the books were unharmed, the damage inside the walls and throughout the community room in the corner closest to the creek will be a costly expense, and McCubbins said the library has no flood insurance.
“We’re still working on the parking lot, which didn’t help because the driveway entrance let the water flow right towards us,” she said. “So we’re financially going to need help, also.”
Although a damage estimate has not been calculated yet, McCubbins said it could be as much as $20,000 to replace so much of the walls and floors, as well as a couple bookshelves.
“We’re going to try to do all the labor ourselves,” she said. “We have to replace the carpets and flooring in the two rooms… There’s a desk and a couple cabinets that were particleboard. You can’t save them, so we had to throw them all out.”
If all goes well Saturday, and enough people can volunteer, McCubbins said they should have all the books moved in a few hours. She said the Cattaraugus-Little Valley School District was gracious enough to allow the library to store the books at the old school’s gym.
“We’re just asking everybody,” she added. “We’re thankful to the community for sticking with us.”