Cleanup continues at Historic Museum


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- A day after the devastation at the future home of the Vigo County Historical Society Museum they are picking up the pieces.

It was a pipe burst that left water pouring like a waterfall from the third floor ceiling all the way to the basement.

“The water was running out the front door into the streets. I knew we were in trouble,” said Marylee Hagan, with the Historical Society of Vigo Co.

On Wednesday she arrived at the building on Wabash Avenue to the sounds of rushing water. On Thursday, only a few drips remain.

“It was basically a waterfall. You needed to wear a raincoat inside the building to perform any work without becoming completely saturated,” said Chad Overton, qwner of Servpro of Vigo Co.

The water may be gone but it left behind significant damage, that’s where Servpro, the company doing the cleanup, comes in.

“All the flooring, carpet pads, ceramic tile, hard wood floor, drywall, trim, insulation, and doors were damaged,” said Overton.

The list goes on and on.

The three story 40,000 square foot building is the largest restoration project the company has seen since the beginning of winter.

While the official assessment to determine the dollar amount has not been released Overton said it will be costly.

“Astronomical! I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars would be an initial guess and then they still have repairs to go on top of that,” he says.

Extensive damage means bringing in expensive equipment, like a $150,000 trailer furnace that does the job of nearly 12 standard furnaces.

“Yesterday it was 10 degrees when we entered the building and last night when we left it was 82 degrees in a six hour window,” says Overton.

Having the furnace paid off, with the building in better shape than yesterday.

“The improvements now are that the first floor is completed. The flooring is completely gutted. It’s back to the original hardwood floors. The temperature is high. The drying has started, and some of the floors already test dry,” says Overton.

Despite this unfortunate incident those at the Historical Society remain optimistic.

“I hope to make lemonade out of these sour lemons,” says Hagan.

Servpro will continue the drying process and will demolish parts that can’t be repaired.

They expect to be done within a week.

Officials planned to renovate the building in preparation for the museum’s move next year.

The non-profit says they are in the beginning stages of their campaign to raise money for those renovations, and this incident simply speeds up the process. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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