Basement at Bop Street Records floods

A steady stream of water is bubbling up through a drain in the basement at Bop Street Records on Ballard Ave. in Old Ballard, flooding parts of a large storage area housing 250,000 vintage records.

“We don’t know where the water is coming from,” said Bop Street Records owner Dave Vorhees. He said the water began bubbling up though a drain Friday night, and both the City of Seattle and Roto Rooter have been unable to pinpoint the source. Then Saturday afternoon, water began bubbling up another drain a few feet away. A sump pump is trying to keep up with it all.

About an inch of water has formed in several large pools in the basement, soaking boxes of records sitting on the floor. “I don’t even want to know,” Vorhees said when we asked about the damage estimate.

Among the quarter million records in the basement is Vorhees’ own personal collection of 45’s. In between customers, he’s drying them off, one by one.

“Conway Twitty is one of my favorites,” he said, drying off the record with toilet paper and adding it to a large pile on the music stage. “I think we’re salvaging enough,” he said. “It may be a good excuse to reorganize them.”

Bop Street Records has been in Ballard since 1984, and it’s been described as “vinyl heaven” and a “pilgrimage for any audio snob.” The store remains open as workers try to stop the flow of water. We’ll keep you updated.

Update: Bop Street tells us the water stopped when the rain stopped falling on Saturday night, but they still haven’t identified the source of the problem.

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Lube
Guest
Lube

He should throw on Milli Vanilli's album “Girl You Know it's True” if he has it, it might give him some answers.

NoraBell
Guest
NoraBell

Oh, no!!! :-(

Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

That's really sad news. I hope the losses aren't too extensive. Years ago I had an old Ford truck that still had a working factory 8-track in the dash. Dave hooked me up w/ some vintage metal. Where else are you gonna find Black Sabbath on 8-track? That place is the best!

Jason Bobcat Harrison
Guest

oh no, think of all the Huey Lewis and Molly Hatchet albums at risk!!!

just kidding, i love that place and hope the damage is minimal.

Structural
Guest
Structural

Looks like one iPod's worth of vinyl there….

Bop Fan
Guest
Bop Fan

I've never been the store, but I truly empathize. It's unreal that the City can't help! I have a few 45's and wouldn't trade them. Good luck, Mr. Vorhees.

Pizzle
Guest
Pizzle

Toilet paper? Really?

NoraBell
Guest
NoraBell

Hey, lay off Huey Lewis. ;-)

Fauxnothing
Guest
Fauxnothing

He's going for absorbent, not scratchy. Basically, the same thing everyone depends on for toilet paper. Poor Dave. He loves his vinyl. I feel really badly that he's having to go through all this. It's hard enough just to make the rent, never mind having to salvage his much-loved inventory. Go, Dave!

Reba1
Guest
Reba1

Wonder if he will take volunteers to clean his albums. I mean hell I've got tons of time to kill being unemployed and all.

marywit
Guest
marywit

Count me in, too, as a volunteer if needed. I love that place more than words, and am also one of the minion of unemployed. Email: witt8199@yahoo.com if I can help.

stinkbug
Guest
stinkbug

No, it doesn't look like one iPod's worth of vinyl there.

Let's assume you have a 160GB iPod (most iPods have less capacity).
Let's assume your songs are in 128-Kbps AAC format, 4 minutes each, and each album is just 10 tracks in length.

That would mean your iPod can hold 40,000 songs. Or a total of 4000 albums.

Let's assume your songs are in a higher format of 256-Kbps AAC, 4 minutes each, and each album is just 10 tracks in length.

That would mean your iPod can hold 20,000 songs. Or a total of 2000 albums.

4000 (or 2000) albums is a lot less than 250,000 albums.

Talk with a true music collector sometime. Your iPod holds shit.

hopefulpoet
Guest
hopefulpoet

???? What do you mean ” the city can't help!”

bob
Guest
bob

The discs in the picture were singles ie: two songs each. This would lower the total number of potential songs. My 62.5 IPODS would fit in a box not located in a flooding basement.

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

Wow, I think I actually felt my heart drop when I saw the title of this post, and then the picture of the water and the records…

I really hope that nothing is too damaged!

marywit
Guest
marywit

I stopped in at Bop Street this afternoon to ask how things are going. It's ok for the moment, but if it rains again the basement will flood. They haven't discovered the source of the problem yet. I talked to the man at the counter…he started a volunteer sign-up list in the event of another flood.

Structural
Guest
Structural

Bet you can't carry 4000 albums in your back pocket.

Brian
Guest
Brian

the downspout next to snack's entrance was broken the other night. looks like it normally goes down through the cement into a storm drain. but it was just emptying onto the ground. i'll be that's the problem!

been there
Guest
been there

We used to experience a similar phenomenon in our basement – when ever we got lots of rain, the water eventually percolated up, through the cement, along any joints and even via the drains.

The culprit? The flip next door that was completed without downspoats! We put a French (passive) drain along the interior perimeter of our basement last summer and are enjoying our second dry winter.

I agree that the source of the water could be an adjacent property that is not handling their water load responsibly.

It won't be cheap but I can refer to a GREAT guy to install a drain system.

Lube
Guest
Lube

The 250,000 number refers to all the records on the shelf, which are in no imminent danger of being damaged.

Scott
Guest
Scott

“The water stopped coming in when the rain stopped falling”. DOH. So how much time do the rest of us spend making sure drains are working and gutters are NOT full of crap? When I had 3″ of water in my basement 3 years ago it wasn't “news”. It however WAS time to fix things. It was bubbling up and coming in fast too. I hope red-light-cams and bike lanes fix this dilema. Time to lawyer up? Got insurance? And we haven't even gotten into the “rainy months” yet. Perhaps he can merely set up a hat outside for concerned neighbors to help out. I got a buck.

bikeboy
Guest
bikeboy

the problem is probably all the new poop coming to Ballard!

Oldernwiser
Guest
Oldernwiser

Thousands of records. In paper sleeves. Stored on the floor. In an ancient basement.

There are only three reasons mistakes happen.

Ignorance.
Stupidity.
Laziness.

Maybe the collection was suspended on two by fours or blocks, and the water just got so deep.

Otherwise . . .

Boring
Guest
Boring

@Oldernwiser

Unless you have the ability to master the elements, you should leave a comment like yours unsaid. No one, no matter how foresighted or intelligent can predict a flood, especially in old Ballard, where the plumbing is basically cardboard paper towel tubes stuck together with masking tape. Dave's basement has been safe and dry for a long, long time, through rain far worse than we've seen in the last few weeks. S**t happens, man – cut the guy some slack.

Oldernwiser
Guest
Oldernwiser

Let me reiterate in a way you can comprehend.

Sh*t happens for three reasons.

Ignorance — one didn't know sh*t could happen.

Stupidity — one knew sh*t could happen, but was too dumb to prevent it.

Laziness — one knew sh*t could happen, and knew how to prevent it, but didn't want to do the work that was necessary.

My post wasn't to slam Dave, a really nice guy. It was flush out the “sh*t happens” people who live by the three traits I mentioned above.

LEARN from Dave's misfortune, my friend.

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