Hurricane Irene blew through the Caribbean between August 21st & August 25th. After it had gone, six people were left dead along with 3.1 billion dollars of property damage. After tackling the Caribbean, Hurricane Irene proceeded pack a wallop on many homes and businesses all along the eastern seaboard. She touched ground in North Carolina and headed north leaving a path of damage through Vermont and then Quebec. In total, about 48 people have died & 3 billion dollars in damage has been sustained as a result of Irene.
Libraries were not immune to Irene’s path of destruction. Many libraries, particularly in the Northeast, have been damaged due to high winds and/or rain. Here is an incomplete listing of some of the damage:
- The public library on Harbour Island in Eleuthera, Bahamas sustained extensive damage
- The New Hanover Library in NC suffered water damage
- In Virginia, the Newport News Public Library had minor water damage, but due to a power outage had to close for several days
- A tree fell into the George Washington’s Gelman Library in D.C.
- In NJ, the Saddle Brook Free Library has only limited services and no seating due to flooding
- The Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison, NY had a flooded basement which disrupted the internet service and was unable to check books in or out.
- The West Hartford Library in CT lost an estimated 60% of their collection.
- LibraryThing is hosting a Hurricane Irene Relief wiki listing libraries reported to have suffered hurricane-related damage and their needs.
- The New York Library Association offers the ability give disaster-relief donations through its website.
- The Vermont Department of Libraries is recommends several ways to donate to stricken libraries.