Water from Monday’s storm soaked the Androscoggin Historical Society’s museum on Lisbon Street. It leaked in through the roof Monday. Submitted photos

LEWISTON — When Curtis Jack, a former president of the Androscoggin Historical Society, showed up at its new Lisbon Street quarters for a meeting Monday morning, he opened the door to discover water splashing through the ceiling and gushing out the walls to form an inch-deep puddle in the middle of the atrium.

“We raced around and grabbed waste buckets,” Jack said.

Before long, a brigade of volunteers, each of them a senior citizen, had “buckets and mops” all around the 93 Lisbon St. Museum that opened its doors only a month ago in its first new location in nearly a century, Jack said.

It was a daylong battle against the elements as heavy rain kept falling until evening.

The society’s president, David Chittim, said officials are still assessing the damage, but it doesn’t appear that any of its most precious possessions suffered. Some items got wet, though, and volunteers are working to prevent long-term damage to them.

“Just by the luck of the draw,” Chittim said, the water that gushed in didn’t soak the most vulnerable areas, especially its library and other paper records.

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Chittim was on the roof as the storm raged, trying to figure out if there was anything that could be done to prevent more water from seeping through. Maybe it helped.

By Wednesday morning, plastic sheets were still draped across display cases and crews were beginning to figure out how to tackle the water-stained, bubbled walls. Some drywall was about to be ripped out when a reporter visited.

Chittim said that damage to the collection may have been minimal considering the circumstances, but the building may have “substantial” issues that will have to be dealt with.

The society is in the middle of a fundraising campaign to try to expand its hours and offerings in the historic building it purchased two years ago. For information about donating, visit its website at androhistory.org.

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