Library Expected to Reopen After Frozen Pipe Burst

by ANDREW NEAL

An alarm sounded inside the Rochester Hills Public Library Monday afternoon. While no one was sure what was happening, librarians started evacuating the building, including an ongoing kids art class in the Youth Room.

“The fire department was in the building before everyone was out because our alarm started to go off before we even knew what was wrong,” said Amanda Harrison Keighley, community relations specialist at the library.

Due to extremely cold temperatures Monday – and a faulty heating system – pipes in the main entryway to the library froze and burst, and began flooding the entrance with water.

“We got everyone evacuated before the waterfall came down,” Keighley said.

The damage could have been much worse. The fire department was able to shut off the water quickly and contain the flooded area. Officials say there was no damage to books and equipment and minimal damage in the entryway. The library remained closed for the day.

“Our team worked all night and they have been very diligent in getting everything up and running,” Keighley said.

Now, less than 24 hours after the incident, the faulty heating system has been repaired, the busted pipes replaced, and the library is expected to open Tuesday at noon – pending a positive fire inspection.

As for affected programs, Books that Bind will be up and running Tuesday evening, and officials ask that anyone impacted by the incident contact them for assistance.

And Keighley says the kids’ art is safe. “The kids’ artwork in the Youth Room, we left that exactly where it was, untouched, and if they want to collect their pieces, they can when we reopen.”