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Storm Causes Flooding At OKC National Memorial Museum

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[File Photo] [File Photo]
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma City National Memorial was closed Monday after storms led to water leaking into the museum.

Construction is underway on an adjoining building to the east of the museum. Museum Executive Director Kari Watkins says that’s where water penetrated the roof and leaked down into two floors of the museum.

“With the wind and the rain all at once that came, it found its way into the museum,” said Watkins.

Around midnight, security noticed water coming down. Watkins says the leak damaged a wall inside the media exhibit and outside the hearing room, but all the artifacts are OK.

“We’ve been made the guardians of this site and the artifacts and this story and that’s not something we take lightly. Which is why we spend money on 24-hour security; to not just secure the site, but to make sure things don’t happen inside the museum,” Watkins said.

Meanwhile, outside the museum entrance, a sign informed visitors the museum was closed.

“The first time we were here we didn’t make it, but we were hoping this time we would see it,” said Brian Salcedo. He and his family were visiting from Dallas.

A tour group from Minnesota also received notice early Monday morning that their tour would have to be rescheduled. The group members toured the outside of the memorial, but will have to visit the museum when they come back through town.

“I’ve got a motor coach tour of people that we’re just having to switch things up, but that’s OK,” said tour escort, Cindy Meany.

“That’s the kind of thing we hate and regret,” said Watkins. “Because many people only get to come through here on time and so that’s why we don’t close unless we absolutely have to close.”

Watkins says they plan to work through the night so the museum can be back open Tuesday.

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