LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - When you’re at work, you certainly don’t expect a waterfall to suddenly spring from your ceiling. Well that’s pretty much happened at the Gregg County Clerk’s Office at the courthouse in Longview.
The Gregg County Clerk’s office is closed, since it’s kind of become a wetland. The water came from one floor up where the county judge’s court is being remodeled, according to Gregg County Clerk Michelle Gilley.
“And that’s right above my office, and our offices started flooding. Our ceilings were coming down,” Gilley said.
She and a couple of her clerks were in the microfilm room and suddenly it was:
“Like a waterfall. So myself and some of my clerks were drenched from head to toe trying to get our documents and computer equipment out of the room at the time,” Gilley said.
The cause was a 70 year old valve that failed when it was closed, so it couldn’t be shut off until they shut down the courthouse water. And down below:
“Our deed records and everything get processed back there but we do have them scanned already so that’s a good thing. We’ll be able to duplicate all of the records,” Gilley said.
She says computers may have been damaged but if microfilm got wet:
“We’re fortunate enough to have a records management building that has the originals. So if we have to duplicate any records we’ll be okay,” Gilley said.
The mess was being cleaned up, but water flows downhill so the next place hit was Gregg County IT office which is run by Derold Miller.
“As fortune would have it, luckily it didn’t get across the hall to our main data center,” Miller said.
They had some water damage, but nowhere near the problems upstairs where everyone pitched in to get things out of the pool.
“I’m so proud of my office; for their teamwork,” Gilley said.
And just above them a brand new valve was going into place, intended to keep the water feature from returning.
Gilley says the water was about four inches deep in the clerk’s office before it was shut down. The water was restored around noon. The clerk’s office may not reopen until next week.
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