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Following a flood, the Clearwater Main Library is set to reopen for first time in four months

Library bookshelves are behind a number of push carts and large, blue, blower fans. There's a clear tarp near the ceiling, underneath some pipes.
City of Clearwater
The Clearwater Main Library was shut down in early Sept. 2023 after a fire system sprinkler pipe broke and flooded a number of floors. The library is set to reopen Jan. 2, 2024.

The location at 100 N. Osceola Ave. closed in September when a fire sprinkler pipe failed. The resulting flood damaged about 16,000 books.

For the first time in about four months, the Clearwater Main Library will be open to the public on Tuesday.

The location at 100 N. Osceola Ave. closed Sept. 6 when a fire sprinkler pipe failed.

According to library officials, the water, which fell from the third floor ceiling on the library's south end, damaged about 16,000 books.

They were taken offsite to be dried and treated — and officials say "a large percentage" of them were saved.

Damaged carpeting was also cleaned, drywall was replaced, and the fire sprinkler system has been repaired.

The initial estimate, according to the Tampa Bay Times, was that the library would be closed about a month. The leak also forced the relocation of at least one City Council meeting because the council chambers are on the library's first floor.

Officials said in late Sept. that the damage was estimated to be approximately $5 million.

The main library hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The library is closed on Sundays.

More information about the library can be found by visiting MyClearwaterLibrary.com or by calling 727-562-4970.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.