Galveston's Rosenberg Library first floor re-opens for first time since Hurricane Ike

GALVESTON, Texas - For the first time since Hurricane Ike, the first floor of the Rosenberg Library in Galveston is back open.

It's been nearly five years since Hurricane Ike devastated the island. But on Wednesday, the Children's Department of the library was finally re-opened.

John Augelli, the Rosenberg Library's Executive Director, has spent 11 years working here at the Rosenberg Library. A night he will never forget was the night Hurricane Ike hit the island. Ike's incredible storm surge flooded the library's first floor, damaging tens of thousands of books and sending the library's electrical and telephone systems underwater.

"The water started coming in at 12:10am," said Augelli. "We had 75 inches. It came in so fast."

Thanks to flood insurance, FEMA and plenty of donations, the library now has state of the art flood gates, a flood door and aquarium glass. Many people are excited to see the library's first floor re-open. They said it shows the island's resilience and strength.

"We wound up with something even better," said Gene Hornstein, Friends of the Rosenberg Library Treasurer. "So, in the long run, it was a positive for us."

The Rosenberg Library is the state's oldest public library still in operation today.

Click here to see before and after photos of the Rosenberg Library.

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