As we were minding our afternoon business, we noticed a trickle of water coming in through the ceiling of the office. Dylan rushed upstairs to where renovations were taking place to see if the water could be turned off – but by the time he returned with the bad news that something had burst, the trickle had become a waterfall. All the staff jumped into action, evacuating customers, cutting the power and trying desperately to save computers, paperwork and THE BOOKS!
Passing Fire Service officers (that’s right, no alarms activated) came to the rescue with tarpaulins and extra hands, and managed to turn of the water main, but a lot of damage was done and the office, storeroom and back third of the store remained out of bounds behind plastic barrier walls for a significant amount of time. Heroic efforts were made by current and past staff to get the shop into some semblance of order and we re-opened with a somewhat chaotic and cramped shop four days later.
The hard work of assessing books for damage, fixing the water damage, cleaning up, repainting, replacing stock and eventually having a proper re-opening was made easier by a more welcome flood – of messages of support, cards and food to keep us going.
There’s no photos of the early stages, as we were all too busy in salvage mode.
Related media: TVNZ