The museum received approximately 3 feet of water on the main level and several inches on the Green Room/East Gallery level. There was significant damage to the Gift Shop and merchandise. Everything was elevated at least two feet off of the floor, using the Hurricane Irene flood level of 10 inches as a guide, but clearly this was not enough and about half of the remaining gift shop inventory was destroyed.
Unlike Irene, the flood waters thankfully did not contain significant amounts of mud or other contaminants, or we would be dealing with a much bigger mess.
Thankfully, no artifacts were significantly harmed, despite getting some water in the East Gallery for the first time in 28 years, according to Curator Allynne Lange. Two computers in the Changing River exhibit were damaged by the water. No archival materials were harmed by the flooding as most are secure on the second floor of the museum.
The Kingston Home Port and Education Center (a.k.a. “Boat Barn”) also suffered minimal damage. Designed to withstand flooding with an elevated concrete floor and three foot high concrete knee wall, the Boat Barn simply needed some hosing out. Unfortunately, some of the construction materials in the yard were damaged by flooding, including at least one of the custom-made wooden doors. Construction on the barn is continuing this week.
Of the five vessels that docked with the museum for the duration of the storm, none sustained any damage, though the Justice (pictured above) did receive a bit of a surprise when the floodwaters receded with the tide, leaving the floating dock stuck up on a bulkhead pylon. The dock was pushed back into the water at the next high tide.
HRMM’s Gift Shop, bathrooms, and newly installed carpeting have suffered significant damage from flooding. Our flood insurance coverage has a large deductible. Please help us cope with this significant cost by considering a monetary donation to the museum. Every little bit counts! Any donations over our clean-up costs will be put toward plans to mitigate flooding in the future, including protection of collections in the East Gallery.
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