Clean up continues after water floods Durham Co. Courthouse

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The Durham County Courthouse, which closed Friday after a major water leak, reopened Monday after a weekend of cleaning.

Just after 5 a.m. Friday, a security camera caught the water leak on the third floor.

“There was a hot water valve that, I guess broke as a result of a cap bursting off from pressure in the valve and when it broke, the water released,” said Dawn Dudley, public information officer for Durham County.

A worker looks to restore the Durham Courthouse on Monday after water damage. (WNCN)
A worker looks to restore the Durham Courthouse on Monday after water damage. (WNCN)

Parts of walls, wood and carpets have been removed.

“As of right now, the space is pretty dry, but you’re dealing now with what’s behind the walls,” Dudley said.

Traffic court was relocated from one hall to another. Magistrate’s courtrooms moved floors.

And the civil filings division had to move to this temporary office space on the second floor.

“I’m amazed at how quickly we were able to get back up and running,” said Kathy Shuart, the trial court administrator.

The most damage to documents came in the estates division, as some 500 records were wet.

“The last thing you want to do is lose any of the records of your citizens and of the business that’s gone on in this building,” Shuart said.

Hundreds of people had to miss court on Friday – some 400 in traffic court alone.

“The court will send out notices for those folks and reschedule them to a future court date and that process has already begun,” Shuart said.

Damage at the Durham Courthouse on Monday. (WNCN).
Damage at Durham Courthouse on Monday. (WNCN).

There is no estimate on the cost of the damage done yet.

The county does not believe there is a health issue and officials will continue to try to dry ou the wet areas to avoid mold.


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