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Country Music Hall plans to reopen later this week

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 – The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is preparing to re-open its doors this weekend, museum officials announced today. The museum has been closed since Monday due to the flooding in downtown Nashville and surrounding areas and subsequent loss of electrical power.

"We expect power to be restored by Saturday, May 8, at the latest, and as soon as the lights come back on, our staff stands ready to welcome visitors back to the museum," said Director Kyle Young. Young said in a radio interview early Wednesday evening that the museum could be open perhaps by Thursday, but more likely Friday.

"We would also like to thank all of our friends and patrons who have expressed concern about our situation and offered to help," Young continued. "The museum has sustained minor damage, but the exhibits and collections - located on the second, third and fourth floors of the building - are safe and dry and were never in danger. Emergency generators are powering climate control systems to keep the collection safe and to allow crews to work on cleanup."

At the height of the downtown flooding on Monday, the museum had five and a half feet of water in one of its mechanical rooms, which is located below ground level. Water also came into the Ford Theater, which is at street level on the corner of Fourth Avenue South and Demonbreun Street. The theater sustained some minor damage, and personnel from American Constructors (which built the museum) have already begun repair and restoration efforts.

Hatch Show Print and Historic RCA Studio B also came through the rain and flooding unscathed. The venerable poster shop is open now, and Studio B tours will resume when the museum re-opens.

Museum staff continue to work on updates to the permanent exhibition, "Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music." Those revisions will be completed as scheduled on May 14. The accompanying opening weekend programs set for May 14-15 will also take place as planned.

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