Cabarrus County library branch to reopen after flooding from burst pipe

HARRISBURG, N.C. — The Cabarrus County Public Library system’s Harrisburg branch will reopen ahead of schedule after it closed when a burst pipe flooded the building.

Most of the damage was in the public access computer area, according to branch manager Davey Beauchamp.

“You can kind of see where it took the track with the molding -- and they haven’t put that back -- just flowing out those doors,” Beauchamp said.

He described the scene he walked into on Christmas Day.

“It just shot water straight that way, taking down all the tiles and insulation,” Beauchamp said.

He said he was in disbelief when he got the call that a pipe had burst because of the cold weather. He said water rushed to the doors so fast that it tripped the security alarm.

“I was stunned because I had just been here,” Beauchamp said.

He was even more stunned to learn that the water spewing from the ceiling missed almost all of the books and electronics, despite the fact that the pipe had broken directly over the computer section. Only one computer and 23 books were lost to water damage.

“Amazing, everything works right,” Beauchamp said. “It’s a Christmas miracle somehow.”

On Thursday, Channel 9′s Hannah Goetz went inside the library to see the work left to be done.

When the library first flooded, officials were projecting up to six weeks for repairs to be completed. But the county and community members came together and now, the library will reopen its doors just two and a half weeks later -- on Wednesday.

Every day since the pipe burst, Beauchamp and other workers have been determined to keep the library running at some capacity while rushing the repair process.

“We really are a big part of this community and I just did not want us to stop serving that community,” Beauchamp said.

They brought back the curbside pick-up program they ran during the height of the pandemic, hand-delivering each book to library patrons.

“I have four kids -- middle school, elementary school and preschool. We love story time and all the activities we have here,” patron Merideth Siefert said. “It could have been a lot worse so I’m happy it wasn’t as bad as it could be. But it’s a bummer, we love coming.”

The county’s Infrastructure and Asset Management Department used dehumidifiers, installed new drainage lines, put up new insulation and repaired the ceiling grid. Crews put up new ceiling tiles and new carpet will also be installed.

Updates are available on the library’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

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Hannah Goetz

Hannah Goetz, wsoctv.com

Hannah is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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