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Museum to reopen Thursday

After cleaning up leaked water from a sprinkler malfunction, Raleigh's Museum of Natural Sciences is expected to re-open Thursday.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Visitors to Raleigh's Museum of Natural Sciences were disappointed Wednesday. They arrived to find the museum closed as the result of a sprinkler malfunction.

Just before 8 p.m. Tuesday, a sprinkler in the butterfly habitat on the fourth floor created an artificial rain shower. The damage was limited to the fourth floor, museum spokesman John Pischney said.

None of the animals at the museum were harmed.

The visiting exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls, on display on the second floor, was unaffected.

"There have been some leaks," museum spokeswoman Emelia Cowans said. "We're still assessing how far it's gone down."

"We do know for a fact," she said, "the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit is safe."

As the cleanup continued inside, visitors to the museum were turned away.

Rebecca Merblum, of Cincinnati, had hoped to visit the museum with her twin sister during their visit to the city.

"We have a sort of limited time frame," she noted. "Museums are typically closed on Mondays, apparently Wednesdays are also off."

Phebe Cornell, a volunteer at the museum, had words of encouragement for those who missed out on Wednesday.

"It's a wonderful exhibit and I hope a lot of people who tried to get in will come back."

The museum will re-open Thursday at 9 a.m.. Anyone holding tickets for the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit dated Aug. 6 may exchange them for another day.

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