When Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas in 2017, Port Arthur, TX became inundated with flood waters. One of the many buildings affected, the Port Arthur library, had three feet of standing water and took over 48 hours before the water receded. The library held over $12M in books, one third of which were, unfortunately, housed below the flood line, and relative humidity hovered around 95 percent with stagnant 90 degree interior temperatures affecting the remainder of the collection.
Given the amount of damages from Hurricane Harvey, numerous members within the DKI Network mobilized from all over the country to assist. As soon as the DKI Team received the call about the effects the public library incurred from the storm, they took quick action to save the books that did not come in contact with the flood waters, and helped catalogue the non-salvaged books for the library to claim on their insurance. DKI project managers quickly divided the workers into teams. The first team worked to set up semi-mounted dessicants to dry the library. The next team removed all the barcodes from the non-salvaged books to be entered into an inventory system and carted off these books. Other teams worked to remove the carpet, and inventory and relocate all of the furniture and electronics.
Overall, the DKI Team was able to salvage $9M in books, which they cleaned thoroughly using HEPA vacuums and packed up in order according to rows, shelves and sections, to make the re-stocking process easier for the library. The final demo and drying was completed within one week.