First Posted: 7/9/2014
Despite a severe thunderstorm storm that left thousands without power and sent high winds through the region Tuesday night, leaving severe damage to tents and items set up for the Back Mountain Memorial Library’s 68th Annual Auction, volunteers worked all day Wednesday to ensure the scheduled opening of the event Thursday evening.
“We’re going to be ready to open,” Larry Long, event chairman, said Wednesday afternoon. “And it’s going to be safe and secure.”
Long looked out over the scene from the library parking lot and expressed gratitude toward the volunteers who helped clean up the mess and start over.
“Our volunteers,” he said, “especially the Boy Scouts (Troop 281), and other people who signed up; they didn’t give up.”
That morning and the evening before when library staff and volunteers arrived, the sides of tents were blown off, stakes were pulled up from the ground, a portion of the merchandise was destroyed, tree branches were down and the 40-by-60-foot “Odds and Ends Tent” was partially caved in on itself with one of the poles snapped in two. An estimated one-third of the goods in the large tent were destroyed and had to be replaced by other items from storage.
“We’re trying to move stuff from other tents to this area and re-arrange it all,” Long said, walking around the tent.
He said he believes a small whirlwind must have ripped through the grounds, as some areas looked like a disaster and others seemed untouched.