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Brrr! Burst pipe damages National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in warmer, drier times
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in warmer, drier times
National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum

Water may again be the toughest opponent of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.

The facility, located in Gable's hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, suffered water damage for the second time in its history Tuesday morning, according to a press release emailed to the wrestling media Tuesday.

"It certainly wasn't the magnitude of the flood damage from 2008," said the announcement, referring to major flooding that June that did considerable damage throughout eastern Iowa, including to the museum and its treasures, now named in honor of legendary wrestler and coach Dan Gable, a Waterloo native.

This time, the museum suffered water damage after a sprinkler pipe broke in the wall due to frigid temperatures much of the nation experienced this week.

Water flowed out of the pipe for 15 minutes at an estimated speed of 500 gallons per minute, according to the museum. The fire department arrived around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 7 and shut off the water to the sprinkler system.

Nearly half of the main floor of the museum was soaked with water. Several walls, flooring and cabinets may have been damaged. Unlike in 2008, no memorabilia was destroyed.

"The Waterloo Fire Department, MaGee Construction, and Harris Cleaning Service have been fantastic," said Kyle Klingman, director of the Dan Gable Museum. "They helped us get ahead of the problem and we are grateful to them for that. Everyone has been gracious and cooperative through this process.”

Klingman expressed thanks for all who have contacted the museum to offer support. He said, "The best way to support our restoration efforts is to consider a financial donation to the Dan Gable Museum Restoration Fund."

Contributions may be made by contacting the museum at (319) 233-0745, or email the director at

Listen to Dan the Man: On Monday -- prior to the burst pipe -- Dan Gable was announced as the guest for the "On The Mat" radio show this Wednesday, Jan. 8.

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