News Column

Heritage Trust Cleans up Flood Damaged Preservation Station

August 4, 2014

By Sarah Tomkinson, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa

Aug. 04--Not everyone is done dealing with last month's flood.

On Sunday morning, volunteers met at the Heritage Trust's Preservation Station on Valley Street in Burlington to clean their once-flooded basement.

The group scraped mud, powerwashed and put chlorine bleach on everything.

"Today's just a matter of cleaning and powerwashing everything," Heritage Trust treasurer Dennis Wilson said.

He advised people to stay out of some rooms in the basement due to the large amount of mud.

Volunteers and members of a halfway house showed up throughout the morning to help. Wilson said the materials and items the trust stores in the basement were salvageable.

"It's just a matter of cleaning out the bathtubs," Wilson said. "We already have a buyer for some of the radiators."

Terry Philips of Riverside came early Sunday to help. He is trying to start a similar group in Washington, Iowa, to help promote preserving historic buildings.

"We're trying to establish a good relationship with Burlington's group, so we know what to do in Washington," he said.

Philips said the Heritage Trust is an organization to admire in Iowa.

"This is a preservation group we want to model after," he said.

The Preservation Station wasn't hit by floodwaters until the Market Street lift station failed.

Wilson said once the group realized the basement was flooded, they put in pumps to help filter water out.

"We didn't know right away that our building flooded," Wilson said.

The Heritage Trust opens the Preservation Station on Saturdays.

The basement had about 3 feet of water in it, and the waters found its way up part of the staircase leading to the basement.

Despite the unpleasant smell of floodwaters, Wilson said sales haven't been affected.

"People on the upper levels get used to the smell," Wilson said. "People have been very understanding of our situation, and our sales haven't been impacted that much."

Wilson said the basement should be fully accessible after Sunday's efforts.


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Source: Hawk Eye, The (Burlington, IA)

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