WYTHEVILLE – This week’s arctic temperatures took their toll on Wythe County Public Library Tuesday when overhead water pipes froze and burst, flooding the facility.
According to Wythe County spokesman Jeremy Farley, the library is closed indefinitely. He indicated the children’s section, offices and bathrooms were flooded.
“The problems began yesterday afternoon, when the heat pump froze due to the extreme temperatures, forcing the device to enter into defrost mode,” Farley states in a press release. “With no working heater, the building’s overhead PVC pipes quickly froze and then burst.”
The flooding wasn’t discovered until around 6 p.m., but by that time the broken pipes had discharged an estimated 300 to 350 gallons of water into the building. County employees are working to clean up the water and repair damage to the building.
Library branch manager Anita Wood said the carpet and ceiling sustained “major damages” and some books were destroyed.
Billy Bowers, Wythe’s buildings and grounds maintenance supervisor, is hopeful the building will be able to reopen by the end of the week.