Burpee Museum Reopens Following Flood

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Burpee Museum

Burpee Museum

UPDATE: Visitors walked the halls of the Burpee Museum and gazed at Jane the T-Rex and Homer the Triceratops Saturday morning.

The museum had been closed since Thursday following a water pipe break.

"It's great to have the museum open again after the last couple days of seeing everything shuttered and flooded," said Executive Director Maureen Mall. "Having clean, dry floors and a lot of visitors here today is a very good feeling."

The lower level remains closed, but staff hope to be able to begin restoration in a couple of days.

"Actually just getting everything back into the collections area is going to be a project again in itself, but first that collections area has to be dried out and restored," said Mall.

UPDATE: The Burpee Museum hopes to re-open Saturday after a water pipe break Thursday afternoon.

Staff spent Thursday and Friday drying out the first floor and lower level with air movers and dehumidifiers.

Burpee employees are currently checking the inventory of more than 100,000 artifacts.

"Most of the staff has been out to Montana or Utah to collect those bones and to see those dripping with water is hard, but everybody has worked really well together to get stuff to safety and I think we're going to be ok," said Executive Director Maureen Mall.

Mall also believes only a few of the museum's pieces will need restoration.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Employees at the Burpee Museum are working quickly to save what they could after a water pipe burst, flooding the building and many of its valuable items.

Staff and volunteers tried to save dinosaur bones and animals specimen, which were mostly stored in the museum's basement. This was all done after a water pipe near the main entrance busted sometime between Monday night and early Thursday morning when the museum was closed for the holidays.

Staff moved birds, lions and dinosaur bones into a dry room. Although the floors were wet, most of the exhibits upstairs are said to be okay. The items damaged the most are the ones held in the basement's storage directly below the burst pipe. The museum has about 100,000 historic artifacts in the basement. It is unknown how many of those items were damaged.

The museum worked as late as they could to move everything into a dry area. They are still drying the floors. As of right now, the museum will be closed until at least Sunday.

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