DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas — Friday morning’s storms hit some places a little stronger than others. The Dripping Springs Community Library was struck by lightning early in the morning.

“One of our employees came to open the library around 7 a.m. When she opened the door, she found a huge mess and thought, ‘Who left this big mess?’” said Christina Thompson, the communications manager for the Dripping Springs Community Library.

The strike exploded a fire alarm, causing drywall to shoot off the walls right where library employees sit at the circulation desk during opening hours. The debris also went flying 60 feet through the library.

“We’re so grateful that there were no children here at the time,” Thompson said.

The North County Hays Fire Department told the library staff they were fortunate the whole building didn’t catch on fire. They said the lightning bolt circulated the building trying to find a point to let out all the electrical energy.

“Just looking around with all these books we have here, we were all thinking, you know, this would have gone up in flames pretty fast,” Thompson said.

In the past few days, they’ve been working to fix everything as quickly as possible ahead of their busy season.

“Summer is our busiest time of the year,” Thompson said. “We have a lot of families coming in with children who are out of school, coming in to do our summer reading programs.”

They were able to repair the fire alarm and the HVAC systems but are still trying to get the internet back up and running. The library still plans on holding its summer Kick-Off Party at the library Monday morning at 10 a.m.

Currently, the library is working on a fundraising campaign to build a brand new, larger library building. The community library is not city-run, so that’s why it’s trying to raise $5 million for the development by the end of 2024.

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Thompson said the library is currently at max capacity, so when something like the lightning strike causes the library to close for a few days, it puts a stain on their resources.

“When any amount of space isn’t available to use, the community really feels the impact,” Thompson said.

The library also said since many people use the library’s computers and printing services, staff will be updating the community through their social media pages as soon as they get internet working again.

There’s no current exact estimate of when the drywall and all of the damage will be completely restored.

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