WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita County offices down in the courthouse are extremely damaged due to flooding that occurred Tuesday morning.
The county clerk’s office, court administrator’s office, but the biggest one hit, 30th District Courty.
Around 10 a.m., one plumbing mistake was made. A mistake that now has Wichita County searching for a temporary courtroom while now having to build a new one.
“So we had a contractor doing work on a plumbing line this morning cut into a pressurized line and water from that on the fourth floor ended up moving down to the third floor and it impacted pretty significantly 30th District Courtroom. The offices for the 30th District Court, the court administrators offices and then from there, moved to the second floor where it started leaking, county clerk’s office and elections office within that,” Wichita County Judge Jim Johnson said.
Despite sealing the leak, it was already too late. Commissioner Mark Beauchamp said the courtroom is almost a complete loss.
“I hesitate to say it’s a total loss but it’s pretty close. It’s going to require a very extensive overhaul. All the floor is a complete loss, ceiling grid is a complete loss, and at least half of the wall panel is a loss because we had literally pints of water out of paneling,” Beauchamp said.
The cost of damages is still unknown, but in the meantime, officials are actively looking for new places to compromise court hearings and where to build a new courtroom, preferably onsite.
“Same point of security, there used to and set up for proceedings to happen over here, we definitely want it to be here if we can make that happen,” Johnson said. “Due to damage up there, it’s unlikely that they will be able to use that courtroom for quite some time. So Beachump, Judge McKnight and I, we are working with architect, with the contractors, to find what we are going to do for them for temporary space,” Johnson said.
Although records, important documents and files were destroyed by the flood, Beachamp said portraits were taken down and restored quickly after an unexpected devastating hit to our county’s courthouse.
A meeting on Thursday will take place to discuss plans on moving forward. Beauchamp hopes that the project, at best, should only take eight months.