“All our neighbors were coming out to cover their windows because the rain and wind were still blowing and my first thought was to grab my fiance, our garbage bags, and the first roll of tape I could find, and just go door to door, making sure our neighbors didn’t need anything,” she said, adding it was the first time she had met some of the neighbors in the complex. “Despite the circumstances, it was nice to see all the neighbors work together to clean up all the glass and cover everyone’s windows, even in the dark and pouring rain.”
Nan Clay, director of the Commerce Public Library, said the library was hosting its GED preparatory and adult literacy program when it was hit by the storm.
“It was kind of an exciting few moments,” she said. “We had 15 others come to seek shelter.”
The storm knocked out 24 window panes of the library and it sustained a flood in the children’s area.
The Commerce Emergency Core responded quickly to the damage the library received and was able to keep the damage to as little as possible, Clay said.
Clay said since they were there during the storm, and had the extra people who sought shelter, they were able to move most of the books that were being soaked by the leaks in the roof.
“If we had not been there that night, we would have lost half of our children’s section,” she said. “It’s just providential that we were there.”
The building itself is insured by the city of Commerce, but currently no one has come to look at the damage.
Because the roof has extensive leaks — they are currently still cleaning their basement which was flooded during a storm six months ago -— Clay said the library cannot get flooding coverage on the contents of the building from insurance companies.