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June 30, 2014 06:10 PM

Historical Artifacts Lost In Canton Flood

Canton, SD

The clean-up continues in Canton two weeks after the flood. As water swept through Canton, the fast-flowing flood soaked the inside of the public library.

"The next day I came back, on Tuesday morning, thinking we just had water upstairs and I opened the door to the basement and there was two feet of water in the basement and stuff floating," Library Director Edith Nelson said.

Nelson says the things floating were pieces of Canton history. From archival materials, to a museum collection, she says the memories lost forever are priceless.

"Our history is contained within our library, much like every other community so when you have an instance where these things are one of a kind are lost, it's a terrible thing," Canton City Manager Sean Pederson said.

Nelson says last Tuesday morning volunteers worked hard and fast to save as much as they could.

"I called some of my employees and those girls worked like troopers, they were instrumental in getting the whole building cleaned up," Nelson said.

Now, Nelson and Canton City Manager Sean Pederson wade through the water-stained artifacts, hoping that not all the history is lost.

"We're trying to put the collection back together as best we can then assess the damage," Nelson said.

The library also lost original Sioux Valley News newspapers in the flood, but they're not gone. Nelson says those papers were also stored electronically.

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