Challenge grant to help the Virginia Living Museum recover from a flash flood
The Virginia Living Museum has received a challenge grant to help it recover from the May 15 flash flood. Members of the museum’s Board of Trustees and Peerless Carpet Care & Restoration Services of Newport News have pledged a one-to-one match for donations to help the museum raise $55,000 for the clean-up.
Damage from the flash flood is now estimated at $250,000, which will be covered by insurance once the museum meets a $50,000 deductible. The challenge will help the museum meet that deductible, plus raise an additional $5,000 to install a monitoring sensor that will alert museum staff, any time day or night, if water levels in the lake begin to rise to a dangerous level.
No animals were harmed, but the lower level of the main museum building and the Wason Education Center took on water during the May 15 flood, and sections of the outdoor trail and boardwalk were submerged by the swollen waters of Deer Park Lake.
“This is an extraordinary circumstance,” said museum Executive Director Page Hayhurst. “We have incredible staff that responded immediately to the flood, otherwise the damage would have been much greater. We are so grateful to our board members and Peerless for providing this match and to the support we have already received from the community to help the museum meet this unexpected burden.”
Peerless was at the museum within an hour of the flood with multiple extraction trucks to begin removing the large amount of water. Dwayne Ward, Peerless vice president, estimates the company has spent about 350 man hours setting, up, breaking down and monitoring the drying equipment. The museum was closed for one day after the flood. After that Peerless worked around museum operating hours and several after-hours events, setting up the drying equipment in the evening and breaking it down in the morning.
With assistance from Sunbelt of Newport News, which supplied a trailer mount generator and miles of electrical cable, Peerless used 107 air movers, 18 dehumidifiers, two air scrubbers and two three-optic hydroxyl generators in the clean-up. It took seven days to dry the museum.
The Virginia Living Museum is a private non-profit museum and education center.
Donations can be made by calling 757-595-1900, online
or sending a check to Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.