Courthouse annex reopens after water heater fails

Published 9:45 am Thursday, February 15, 2018

The James Clark Judicial Center is back open for business this morning after parts of the building flooded Tuesday night.

The offices were closed Wednesday while the offices dried out and workers cleaned up the mess.

Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham said a deputy sheriff walked into the sheriff’s office around 9 p.m. and found water in the floor.

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Branham said it started with a water line in the circuit clerk’s office on the floor above. Workers determined the seal where the water element fits disintegrated and started leaking water, Clark Circuit Clerk Martha Miller said.

Many county officials including Branham, Miller, Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue Jr. and a crew from the Clark County Detention Center spent about three hours working Tuesday night until the water was shut off.

Wednesday morning, the building was closed while work crews assessed the damage and annex employees tried to dry the building out.

The water heater was above a closet next to Miller’s private office.

“It sounded like a waterfall,” she said. “I was afraid to open the door.”

Miller said no files or records were damaged in the clerk’s office. The only loss so far was several printer toner cartridges.

Perdue said the water caused some damage to the ceilings in his office and flooded the kitchen and Perdue’s private office as well.

“I had about a half-inch in my office and probably an inch or more in our kitchen area,” Perdue said. “The evidence room got a little (water) under the door but it didn’t get into any evidence. I’m just glad it didn’t get into our bookkeeper’s office.”

Branham said the issue with reopening the building was dependent on when the bathrooms would be functional again. The situation also relocated the Clark District Court dockets temporarily to the circuit courtroom in the main courthouse.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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