This afternoon I went to Dan and Martha Boswell’s house to pick up some of their photo albums which had been damaged by the record-setting flood waters. Margaret and Cathy have also taken some of them. I called a photo-finishing expert at Precision Camera for advice. He said that, since the paper and plastic in the albums are of archival quality, the photos would not be ruined if they stuck to the plastic so long as there were no bubbles.
The entire bottom floor was a terrible mess. Thank God, they have flood insurance; so professional clean-up crews are taking care of the dirty task. The few things that can be salvaged have been put in the back yard and the rest of it will be hauled away. Both of their cars probably will be totaled by the insurance company. They were provided a rental car. Martha told me that they had taken all the photo albums on the lower bookshelves upstairs but left the ones on the top shelf in place, never dreaming that the water would rise high enough to reach that top shelf. Oh, if only our foresight were as good as our hindsight!
I went page by page through the albums, wiping off as much water as possible with paper towels and then using my hair dryer to dry them more. If there were any bubbles, I ran my fingers inside and blew in some warm air. Then I stood the albums on the floor with the pages separated so as to let in some air overnight tonight. Tomorrow I’ll go page by page again to make sure they are completely dry. If not, I’ll repeat the process.