Chilton County Courthouse flood damage update

Published 3:09 pm Friday, June 1, 2018

On Tuesday, May 29, the Chilton County Courthouse sustained minor flooding.

In addition to the high volume of rainfall, there were several other factors that contributed to the flooding. According to the county engineer, a hose on the cooling system failed over the weekend, causing over 100,000 gallons of water to spill from the court house roof, saturating the soil adjacent to the court house walls. The water spill combined with heavy rains caused water to begin leaking into the bottom floor.

The courthouse has had historical issues with flooding and is fitted with sump pumps to prevent flooding. The sump system was unable to handle the excessive flow of water due to a failure of several of the pumps.

Within minutes of the reported flooding, the Sheriff’s Department, Maintenance Department, and the County Engineer were working to pump water out of the courthouse and minimize the damages.

The Commission engaged a professional storm restoration company and they were onsite with equipment working to remove the water less than an hour after the flooding began.

On Friday morning, a representative of Puroclean updated a group at the courthouse. He stated that although there could be contaminates in the rain water, there was likely no danger to employees in the courthouse as long as they were careful not to ingest the water. Any contamination at this point would not be airborne.

He stated that the water was considered a level 3 incursion due to the fact that it came from outside.

Puroclean plans to have a full assessment completed and a report submitted to the Commission on Monday. The report will include Puroclean’s assessment and recommendations of what materials can be cleaned and what materials will need to be removed in order to prevent future health hazards to people working at or visiting the court house.

The maintenance crew has replaced two of the three failed sump pumps and the third pump is ordered. Chairman Caton and Vice Chairman Hardee are well abreast of the situation and Chairman Caton plans to call an emergency meeting at 8 a.m., June 5, to discuss future action.