Damage is being assessed and events rescheduled a day after a ruptured water line forced the Butte Public Library to close.

An insurance adjuster flew to Butte Wednesday from Seattle to tour the library at 226 W. Broadway St. and record the water damage, said library director Lee Phillips.

Also, efforts are being made to relocate events it has planned for Friday's Christmas Stroll and other regular library activities.

The library is expected to be closed for at least two weeks, and possibly longer, Phillips said.

A pipe from the library's fire suppression system burst sometime Monday evening in a wall in a stairwell on the third floor. Water sprayed from walls and flooded some of the rooms with as much as 3 inches of water, damaging carpets and books.

The exact amount of damages was still being determined Wednesday.

Josh Peck, special events coordinator for Mainstreet Uptown Butte, said some of the library's Christmas Stroll events may be moved to St. John's Episcopal Church, located across the street from the library.

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These may include the gingerbread house competition and the Scrooge-look-alike contest, among others. The specifics will be announced Thursday, and posted on The Montana Standard's website, at www.mtstandard.com, and well as published in Friday's paper.

Peck added that those participating in the Stroll Bingo should mark the square for the library as "free" before turning the card in at any drop box.

Regan deVictoria, head of the library's adult services, said she is seeking locations for other activities, such as the book club and teen zine. The library still plans to participate in Butte's annual ice sculpting contest on Dec. 11, and participants should meet in front of the library.

Meanwhile, the community has responded.

"It's mostly individuals offering their time to help," deVictoria said.

- Reporter John Grant Emeigh may be reached via e-mail at john.emeigh@lee.net

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