Many of you have heard the news stories about our recent damage from the floods on Tuesday. What started as a trickle in the curator’s office turned quickly to geysers of water from the ceilings in the collection and archives storage. Then, the bathrooms started to overflow out into the main floor of the museum. Meanwhile, the parking lot in front of the museum quickly flooded and cars began floating down Central Ave.
As it became apparent the artifacts in collections were at risk, all museum staff members moved to the basement for a mass rescue effort. Water quickly reached 8-10 inches and all items on bottom storage shelves along with paintings, were moved via human chain. Although many items got wet, we are quite hopeful that nothing will be lost. This weekend, anything showing signs of water damage will be sent to Chicago for mass conservation. Our efforts have been applauded by one of the most highly regarded art insurers in the world. He says our attempt to save such large quantities of items is unparalleled with other museums in disaster situations he’s seen. Close to a thousand pieces were moved- out of rising water by barefoot staff- in less than an hour and a half in the darkness.
Our horses, Phantom On Tour and his mini buddy Winston fared the water just fine. The garden area got pretty wet but after a short clean up of debris looks back to normal now. Thank you to everyone who have sent letters of concern and well wishes.
Please visit our Kentucky Derby Museum Flood Blog for future updates.