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Press Releases

August 27, 2012



Museum to reopen Tuesday, Aug. 28

The museum will re-open on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 9 a.m. as recovery continues from Saturday's flash flood that inundated the entire lower level of the museum building and the Wason Education Center.

Opening on Tuesday will be the DINOSAUR exhibit, upper level galleries and outdoor trail. Restoration of the lower level is expect
ed to take at least several weeks.  


From Aug. 28 through Labor Day, general museum admission will be $5 off ($12 adults/$8 children) and planetarium shows will be free (limited seating).

Because restoration work involves the entire lower level of the building, the museum has cancelled the first session of children's programs that were scheduled to begin in September and the November Astro Camp-in. Please call 757-595-9135 for additional information.

VLM Executive Director Page Hayhurst said, "We’re so grateful to the volunteers who came to help as well as the dedicated staff who have been here throughout the crisis. Thanks to them and Peerless Carpet Restoration’s immediate remediation, we’re able to open parts of the museum on Tuesday. It’s likely to be several weeks before the rest of the museum is open. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work on the reconstruction of the lower level."


Much of the damage is covered by insurance, but the museum will again have to pay a $50,000 deductible. Donations are being accepted to our Flood Relief Fund at


Since the flood in May, the museum has built a new house for the raccoons on top of the hill so that the animals can be away from future flooding. The museum has contacted the Newport News Stormwater Division and has begun talks with the College of William and Mary to conduct a hydrology study of Deer Park Lake to see if changes in the lake are contributing to the flooding. 


On Saturday water came over the floodgates, which were designed to withstand a 100-year flood when they were created in 2004. This is the worst flooding the museum has experienced in its 45-year history. No animals were injured during the event, although the raccoons and beavers were relocated to safe areas.


Page Hayhurst said the museum is now even more committed to understanding the problem and finding a solution that will prevent the problem from happening again.


For more information, please call 757-595-1900.




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