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Mary Esther Library to remain closed for immediate future due to strom damage
MARY ESTHER -- MARY ESTHER - Storm damage will keep the Mary Esther Library closed for the near future. Three trees crashed into the roof of the building Friday.
Laura Hussey "Most of the ceiling tiles in the Mary Esther Library are gone. Water was leaking in here like crazy, and all of the computers were right here"
Nobody thought a spring storm would cause damage like this.
Sheila Ortyl/Library Director "There was just like this super-loud, just CRACK and there's, it was, it was a shaking"
Somebody screamed "Get under the tables". Three trees had toppled onto the roof, but noone knew that yet.
Marlene Bosak/ME Library "We really thought maybe a tornado was coming"
Ceiling tiles started to sag under the weight of heavy rain.
Sheila Ortyl "It was pretty scary, pretty scary. But the staff and everybody just ran on instinct and adrenaline, I think, and just did what we could, cleared out the area and got all the patrons safe"
Dozens of blowers are drying out the carpet. Quick work by the staff saved all the computers and networking equipment. Only about a hundred books were lost. It's not clear yet how badly the building was damaged; structural engineers were starting their inspection Tuesday afternoon.
Marlene Bosak "It was unbelievable. I was not prepared for the condition of the interior of the library, it's just gutted, it's a mess"
The library will let people know about repairs and rescheduled programs on their Facebook page. While the library is closed, members can county libraries in Fort Walton, Destin, Niceville, Valparaiso and Crestview.
Laura Hussey "Lots of people have been coming by trying to use the library. Now that you've seen what it looks like in here, you understand why it is closed until further notice."