State agency staff rescue flood-damaged artifacts in Pembroke and Harkers IslandOctober 4, 2018 | In the Press
The recent heavy rains from Hurricane Florence caused the roofs of two North Carolina museums to fail, threatening two very different but equally important collections of historical artifacts.
The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum in Harkers Island and the Indian Education Program Museum in Pembroke both experienced significant damage from the storm, leading to water damage and mold that has impacted the collections of both facilities.
Enter the Cultural Resources Emergency Response Team, or CREST. The team of employees from the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, along with regional partners, is working with both museums to clean and restore hundreds of artifacts, find temporary offsite storage for the Core Sound Museum’s collection, and assist in preparing some of the Indian Education Program Museum’s printed materials for digitization.
“It’s not necessarily the first thing people think of in a disaster, but our cultural and historical treasures are also at risk following events such as floods or hurricanes,” said Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi H. Hamilton. “This amazing team is trained to recover and restore artifacts of every kind after almost any type of disaster. I am so very proud of the vitally important work that they do in protecting our state’s heritage.”
In Pembroke, CREST welcomed the assistance of staff from the Gaston County Museum. In Harkers Island, staff from the Maritime Museum assisted CREST, along with a team of 10 volunteers.