Biloxi Library Cleaning Up Storm Mess - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/29/05

Biloxi Library Cleaning Up Storm Mess

Hurricane Katrina's visit to the downtown Biloxi library has all the elements of a nightmare novel. But even though the storm made a mess of the library, that isn't the end of the story. Some determined people are intent on writing a happy ending.

A walk through the library... is an obstacle course.

"I can assure you that many of these things were not in the library before the storm," said librarian Jamie Ellis, as she stepped over storm driven debris.

A storm surge stew of sea grass, water logged books and assorted who-knows-what-else now covers the floor.

"I couldn't believe it. I thought to myself. We never thought that it would get this high. We just didn't think that it would happen," said Ellis.

Katrina thought otherwise. Her true story left behind a smelly, unsightly, unpleasant mess.

"There's a window out here and a window out over here. And basically the water came in. We don't see much wind damage in here. Things that were on the shelf above the water line are still there. So, it seems it was mostly a water event," Ellis explained.

Dry and undisturbed above the water mark, a pre-storm newspaper warns Katrina is coming.

"We had all the census micro film here. And lots of things. People just depended on all this," said librarian's assistant, Jane Shambra.

She mourns a loss of local history. The hurricane claimed a portion of the history and genealogy section.

"It's terrible. It's become a part of our life. All this history and genealogy stuff. And it's kind of like a part of us is just washed away," said Shambra.

The storm destroyed 25 thousand of the library's 47 thousand books. Those that can be salvaged will need special treatment.

All the Biloxi books which can be saved will get a refrigerated truck ride to Chicago. That's where a company that specializes in document restoration will use some high tech methods to restore these volumes.

The recovery process involves blast freezing the books and exposing them to gamma rays.

Full recovery isn't a short story; it's more like a lengthy novel. But those who love the library are anxious to write the final chapter.

"You just have to keep a positive outlook in times like these. Things have to get better. They must get better," said Jamie Ellis.

The librarian says it could be two years before the downtown Biloxi library re-opens.

By Steve Phillips

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Wilkerson makes history in two-hit shutout

    Wilkerson makes history in two-hit shutout

    Sunday, July 23 2017 11:47 PM EDT2017-07-24 03:47:31 GMT

    Faced with a four-game losing streak and the potential of their first series sweep of the season, the Biloxi Shuckers snapped out of their funk in a big way with a 7-0 victory over the Mississippi Braves on Sunday. 

    More >>

    Faced with a four-game losing streak and the potential of their first series sweep of the season, the Biloxi Shuckers snapped out of their funk in a big way with a 7-0 victory over the Mississippi Braves on Sunday. 

    More >>
  • Marriage equality celebrated in Biloxi

    Marriage equality celebrated in Biloxi

    Sunday, July 23 2017 11:03 PM EDT2017-07-24 03:03:50 GMT

    On Saturday, marriage equality was celebrated. An event called One Night Out showcased the positive reaction to the federal law from 2015 that guaranteed marriage equality. 

    More >>

    On Saturday, marriage equality was celebrated. An event called One Night Out showcased the positive reaction to the federal law from 2015 that guaranteed marriage equality.

    More >>
  • WLOX News This Week: Biloxi Development

    WLOX News This Week: Biloxi Development

    A building boom is happening in Biloxi, within the next several months more than 300 new hotel rooms will be available downtown.

    More >>

    A building boom is happening in Biloxi, within the next several months more than 300 new hotel rooms will be available downtown.

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Bush's Baked Beans announces voluntary recall

    Bush's Baked Beans announces voluntary recall

    Sunday, July 23 2017 7:14 PM EDT2017-07-23 23:14:18 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 7:14 PM EDT2017-07-23 23:14:18 GMT

    Bush Brothers & Co.Saturday announced a voluntary recall of certain 28-ounce cans of three varieties of its baked beans.  

    More >>

    Bush Brothers & Co.Saturday announced a voluntary recall of certain 28-ounce cans of three varieties of its baked beans.  

    More >>
  • Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

    More >>

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

    More >>
  • New York Times asks 'Fox & Friends' for apology

    New York Times asks 'Fox & Friends' for apology

    Sunday, July 23 2017 8:11 PM EDT2017-07-24 00:11:08 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 12:51 AM EDT2017-07-24 04:51:38 GMT
    The New York Times is asking Fox News' morning show "Fox & Friends" to apologize for what the newspaper calls a "malicious and inaccurate segment" about intelligence leaks and the Islamic State that aired Saturday.More >>
    The New York Times is asking Fox News' morning show "Fox & Friends" to apologize for what the newspaper calls a "malicious and inaccurate segment" about intelligence leaks and the Islamic State that aired Saturday.More >>
Powered by Frankly