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Repairs to be made at Harrison County Courthouse following lightning strike

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 11:15 AM CDT
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MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - When lightning strikes, well, you know it, and they knew it when it hit the Harrison County Courthouse on July 2. The Harrison County Commissioner’s Court recently approved repairs for their 911 system and elevators which were damaged by the strike.

“All in favor?” asked Harrison County Judge Chad Sims.

“Aye,” replied the commissioners.

And with that the elevators, as well as the 911 system repairs were approved. After lightning hit the courthouse Harrison County 911 Communications Supervisor Sandy Weaver found out what they lost.

“Lost 911, telephone, and radios all at one time. Of course, the dispatchers had handheld type radios they immediately started using,” Weaver said.

So battery power saved the day.

“Of course the community never lost 911. A split second, and it was transferred,” Weaver said.

However, IT had to get in there and make the computers work.

“We have all but one 911 up,” Weaver said.

They are working on that but they need to get back up to date with their radios.

“Once we get our new radios we’ll have radios at all three stations,” Weaver said.

The other system that needs work is something that’s maybe taken for granted, but it’s good for you, according to Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jay Webb with the County Sheriff’s Office.

“Right now we are under a forced wellness program, as the lightning strike that occurred July the second took out all the circuitry for the elevators in the courthouse,” Webb said.

Fortunately, most business is conducted on the first floor, but going to court or taking out the trash is a hike. And those fried circuits?

“They have to take the circuitry out, send it over to Germany to be reworked, and brought back over,” Webb said.

The total cost is around $145,000. The strike was covered under insurance so all the county will pay is the $2,500 dollar deductible.

One elevator does work, but you may not want to take it if you find it. It’s pretty much for prisoner transport.

“I’m just watching you take the elevator,” I said to a maintenance man on the stairs.

“The horizontal elevator,” he replied.

Webb says it will be four to six weeks before the elevators are repaired and about a month before the new 911 radio system is in place.

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