Vinyl Nightmare - flooding in Western WA

We in Western Washington had some flooding problems early this week. The local paper ran the following article:

STORM AFTERMATH: Sifting through the soggy remains
Residents and business picking up the pieces after flooding


For Charlie Divine, these are not the best of times.

He recently broke up with his girlfriend, and a week ago, he moved into his own one-bedroom basement apartment near Jackson Park Golf Course in North Seattle. Just Friday, he finished setting up house, buying a deep-cushioned armchair for the living room.

Then the rains came. His living room was awash. He called 911, grabbed what he could and fled.

Tuesday, he was back, picking through the soggy debris of the flood.

Divine was hardly alone. Across the region, scores of people displaced by the flooding returned to find what had become of their homes and belongings.

Divine's carpet was soaked; his bed was soaked; his new chair was saturated. And his 1,000-album record collection lay scattered across the floor, the cardboard jackets corrugated with damp.

Billy Joel. The Commodores. Buck Owens. Elvis. Willie Nelson.

"Twenty-some years of record collecting, just gone," Divine, 36, said.

Divine, an anesthesia technician at the University of Washington Medical Center, was one of several renters in the Jackson Greens apartments mopping up Tuesday.

Geez....I realize this is not in the same league as Katrina, but it's still quite a bummer.

The entire article is at
A fellow I worked with in Chicago did me the honor of lending me his very nice reel-to-reel tape recorder (Tandberg?).
He'd gone through a taping phase where he'd schlepped this baby and recorded Church organ and choir recitals.
Two weeks after I returned it and the master tapes, a Chicago rainstorm flooded his basement and submerged the tape deck.
To this day, it makes me want to puke.
I have been thinking about your post for a few days now.I had records from 63 to 86 till I went to CD's.I understand the hassle and pain.I dont understand why they cant be played.Cannot the records be separated from the covers?I must be missing something in regards to water and vinyl,but I dont get it exactly...sorry,Bob
Hey Bob-
I would imagine that after the effort to clean up the LPs, they can be played. As a vinyl afficionado, part of the joy is listening to the record as you hold the cover in your hands and read the liner notes (without a magnifying glassthat is sometimes required for CD liner notes).

So yes, the LPs are likely recoverable, but the "experience" is certainly impacted. Plus, although secondary, resale value probably takes a dump.

Tad,hoping the last bad experience will propel him towards one he never envisioned which will make him jump and holler"Grrrrreat!!I never could of done this without that".Of course,he too would have to be an incurable optimist at this point.....lets revisit again in a day or so and type,good luck,Bob
Sorry to hear about that. I'm in Portland,OR and as you know we also had more than our share of flooding issues here as well. Though the hundreds of record album covers are probably ruined, I suspect the records can be dried out carefully, cleaned and then played once again. Of course, it would help if he has functioning equipment as well. Best of luck with the clean up.