Monday, June 23, 2008

Book-Loving Iowans

I am proud to say that my fellow Iowans are doing great during this time of crisis, keeping books from being spoiled by the flood waters.
I am posting an excerpt from an article on the internet, along with the URL for the full article at the bottom.

University of Iowa Bookstore Under Water
As college store directors ready their stores for fall, George Herbert Jr., director of University Bookstore & Hawk Shops, University of Iowa, Iowa City, was watching water recede on his campus. Flooding in that area left much of the university and his store under water.

On Tuesday, floodwaters had seeped into the University of Iowa's main library but the university says the damage appears to be minimal. The water was about two inches deep in the basement of the building, according to the university, but all the books were removed prior to the flooding as a precaution. The library had remained dry prior to Tuesday even as 16 other campus buildings took on water.

Herbert, a past president of NACS, said the entire community responded quickly last week as it became apparent the university would be hit by the rising waters. Sixteen buildings took on water during the flooding despite the sandbags and the advance warning. The water in his store was at least five feet deep.

"Unbelievable," Herbert said. "We've had thousands of people volunteer to sandbag. There were people in town for a conference that volunteered, community members, businesspeople—you almost had to see it to believe it."

Herbert said about 95% of the store's stock was moved to a secure location, but a dwindling timeline forced them to leave about 5% on upper floors of the Iowa Memorial Union, where his store is located.

Although originally told they had until Saturday afternoon, June 14, to clear the store, that deadline quickly turned to Friday night, then Friday afternoon, and finally staffers were ordered to leave at 9 a.m. on Friday.

Herbert said there are concerns about the air quality on the floors above his flooded store, where his merchandise is stored. Until the water recedes to a safe level, he won't know how bad the damage is to the merchandise or the store itself.

"I've never seen anything like this and never thought I would," Herbert said.

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