Don't tell anybody at the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site not to believe in Santa Claus.
Their executive director, Dr. Sarah Newstead, told 99.5 Drum FM they suffered a flood during last week's cold snap.
"We got a call on Thursday morning (Dec. 28) saying the heat's gone off in the Admin Building, and I thought it was just a pilot light," she recalled. "As soon as we walked around the back to check in the basement where the furnace is, there was five feet of water in our basement."
"We have a particulate filter from our well, on the main line, and we think that froze and came up and flooded the basement," she explained. "It killed our furnace and our water heater: luckily, we didn't have any artifacts in the basement."
So, where does Santa come into the picture?
"When we got back and we checked our mail, one of the first letters that I opened up was from Century Coals, the company that the Atlas Coal Mine turned into," related Newstead. "They actually sent us a cheque for almost the same amount of money as what it's going to cost to get the furnace replaced."
The cheque was mailed before last week's flood, so Newstead figures the old Atlas Mine manager, Mr. Patrick, must have been looking out for them.
She expects the mine site will remain closed for about a week until they get everything fixed or replaced. In the meantime, they're guests of the East Coulee School Museum, which is open.