One of the Washington State Archives’ chief responsibilities is to preserve the millions of paper records under its care. Last week, that duty was put to the test when a freak flood at the State Records Center in Tumwater soaked dozens of cardboard boxes full of records.
Thanks to fast, dedicated action by Archives staffers and access to freeze-drying equipment, none of the 700-plus damaged docs will be lost.
The crisis began Thursday afternoon during the storm that struck the South Sound. Normally, a rainstorm wouldn’t impact the State Records Center, located near the Olympia Airport. Problem was, some of the pipes at the Records Center building had been pressure tested and a two-inch valve was blocking one of them, causing a trough and several pipes to quickly fill up with water when the rainstorm hit.
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