Museum recovering from water leak that caused closure

Water came from underneath the desk, pictured, where the museum stored over-sized maps. (Prince Albert Historical Society/Facebook)

Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald

No significant damage to materials after ‘lucky’ catch on weekend, but museum closed until space is fully dried out

A Prince Albert Historical Society volunteer went downstairs on Sunday morning to find water flowing into the museum’s basement.

Several other volunteers rushed in to clean up the approximate two inches lining the floor.

It took Manager and Curator Michelle Taylor a bit longer to get there coming from her home outside of the city.

“Some volunteers plugged the hole as much as they could with some rags, just to stop the gushing,” she said. “Even when it was plugged, we were emptying a mop bucket that was half-full every 10 minutes.”

Volunteers continued to manage the flowing water throughout the night until Monday morning—that’s when the city found out where the leak was coming from.

“There was a water, I think it was a main, in front of (McIntosh) Mall that was leaking and it followed the SaskTel line into our building,” explained Taylor.

City workers dug up Central Avenue in front of the building that day.

The only damaged material is a set of large maps that were stored directly underneath the leak.

They’re laying out to dry on the second floor.

The museum has been closed since the incident, but may re-open on Wednesday. Taylor confirmed it will be permanently open following the Santa Claus Parade on Saturday.

She said the closure won’t affect them too much economically.

“At this time of the year, we don’t get a lot of visitors, but I don’t want to have visitors come to the museum and only be able to see one small room,” she said, adding part of their main floor is also under construction.

Taylor thanked the volunteers for taking control of the leak and preventing further damage.

“I’m a staff member. I have to be here, but the volunteers, you know, they were great. They came in and they did it on their own time,” she said. “Without the volunteers, it would’ve been a very different situation.”

She said it was “just total luck” that the volunteer, who happened to be in the museum on Sunday, had to go downstairs and found the leak.

On a Facebook post comment, Taylor said she hasn’t spoken to the city yet about repairing the building.