Water main break floods Downtown Pittsburgh library branch

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Firefighters are pumping water from the lower level of the Carnegie Library branch in Downtown Pittsburgh after a water main break late this morning.

Library spokeswoman Suzanne Thinnes said the facilities team is assessing damage and already removed computers from the floor, which also houses business publications, journals and books. Also on the lower level was a collection of historic tax records.

The 8-inch main break on Montour Way was reported shortly before 10:45 a.m. Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority spokeswoman Melissa Rubin said the main is shut down in the area while crews make repairs but no one is out of water because there's a double feed.

Ms. Thinnes said the library's main floor will remain open, but that could change.

Library officials were able to briefly assess the damage this afternoon. Ms. Thinnes said most of the historic books were dry, but might have been impacted by humidity.

The lower level will remain closed for several weeks to preserve the materials and replace the carpet.

Signs outside neighboring Brooks Brothers, 600 Smithfield St., said the store was temporarily closed because of the break.

Lauren Lindstrom contributed. First Published January 30, 2014 1:00 PM

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