Okay, if we disregard the insane coincidence of these particular files being water damaged, then the rest of the story is quite logical. You find the file you want is a damp mass of papier-mâché with mould on the outside. You perhaps cannot lift the file without destroying what is in it. So you get some expert who understands wet paper to move the lot to a tank of fresh water and slowly tease the sheets apart and clean them and dry them. And we get almost everything back. There are plenty of YouTube videos on how this is done, and if you have a thick pile of paper, it is a slow but with luck uneventful process.
It may not be exactly a class act, but it is a bit better than…
A: There are no documents!
B: Why do you hate your country?
C: You are on a 'no-fly' list for asking.