Flood-Damaged Artifacts in Windsor Receive Preservation Help from Specialized Natural and Cultural Resources Team

CREST team in WIndsor

Photo: Gov. Pat McCrory (center) stopped by to visit with DNCR CREST team members Adrienne Berney (far left), Reid Thomas (second from right) and LeRae Umfleet (far right) during a recent tour of flood damage in Windsor. 

The recent heavy flooding in Bertie County caused flood waters to rise up to four feet high in the Craftsman and Farmers Museum in downtown Windsor. Much of the museum’s collection of antique farming implements and tools were submerged under water and in need of care and cleaning.

Enter the Cultural Resources Emergency Response Team, or CREST. The team of employees from the N. C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources worked with the museum’s staff to clean hundreds of artifacts including saddles, tools and even a few carriages.

Fortunately, no major artifacts were destroyed by flood waters, and the CREST team was able to clean and restore items that had been submerged.

“It’s not necessarily the first thing people think of in a disaster, but so often our cultural and historical treasures are also at risk following events such as floods or hurricanes,” said Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz. “This fantastic team is trained to recover and restore artifacts of any 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.” 

The CREST team is able to deploy members across the state immediately after a disaster to assist with repair and restoration at libraries, museums and historic sites. CREST members arrive with special supplies to triage, clean and repair artifacts, and have had specialized recovery training that includes soot removal, photograph salvage, freezing techniques, and textile cleaning for temporary or long-term conservation and storage.

CREST also offers training in artifact recovery to interested groups. To connect with CREST, please contact Adrienne Berney at 919-807-7418 or adrienne.berney@ncdcr.gov.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to
experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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