JACKSON – A valve malfunction in the plumbing system at the Hinds County Courthouse sent water cascading from ceilings.
Desks in Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn’s office on the basement floor received the most damage in Thursday’s flood. But there was water in other areas. It pooled on the fourth floor near docket books, boxed records and paper files Dunn’s office is required to preserve. Dunn told The Clarion-Ledger most were saved from damage.
The water sent employees scurrying to unplug computers and other electrical devices.
The valve that caused the problem was being replaced Friday. Costs of cleanup and repairs were not available.
“I’m mad today,” said Melinda Green, a deputy circuit clerk, whose desk, including her computer and 10 years worth of memorabilia, was drenched. “But yesterday, I was scared to death.”
“When I walked out there, it looked like Niagara Falls,” Dunn said of the situation that began to unfold about 3:30 p.m. “It was a sheet of water.”
Deputy clerk Lee Myers was helping a customer at the front desk when she told him she saw water flowing from the ceiling.
“I looked around, and whoosh! It was coming down. Everyone was scattering,” Myers said.
He scrambled toward the electronics in the most flooded area, unplugging computers, printers and scanners as he went – and getting repeatedly shocked in the process.
“I was trying to get them unplugged before they shorted out,” Myers said.