Historic County Records Damaged in Flood

by Katie McGraw on August 26, 2013 at 6:36 am

A Muskingum County building that holds important historic documents suffered major water damage after last week’s heavy rainfall.

The Muskingum County Records Center is in the basement of the Richard D. Hixson building on 5th Street and houses every county office records. Early Friday morning, records employees came to work with several inches of standing water in their department, ruining the carpets and nearly destroying some of the counties oldest documents.

"It was what they call ‘Category 3 Water Damage’, which is quite serious in the world of records and records restoration,” said Records Coordinator, Mitzi Shook. “Some of our records have been removed to be what they call ‘deep freeze’ before they can have the mud removed and be restored."

Shook notes there is a difference between having documents frozen in order to dry them versus a full restoration. Luckily, she says they were well within the time frame to save the records but it will come at a price.

"This kind of thing is rare, it wasn’t a tablespoon of water and so therefore I would assume the way things are priced, that it will be an astronomical loss and that’s tragic."

It is suspected the water entered on the western side of the building and damaged the records that dated back to 1804. The records center will be closed until further notice.