State Archives staff save records damaged in Thursday rainstorm

Washington State Archives staff saved more than 700 documents from flood damage this week, according to the Secretary of State’s From Our Corner blog.

On Thursday, South Sound rainstorms brought a surprise flood at the State Records Center in Tumwater. A two-inch valve block left over from pressure testing of the center’s pipes caused a trough and several pipes to fill with water and eventually overflow down building walls. The water landed directly onto shelves holding cardboard boxes full of state records.

“Fortunately, the unexpected deluge happened when several Archives staffers were at work, allowing them to minimize damage,” Secretary blogger Brian Zylstra wrote.

The documents did not come out unscathed, but they will no longer be lost. Archives staff cleared water and organized boxes from least to most damaged. Severely damaged boxes of records were taken to a Puyallup facility for freeze-drying.