Cold weather helps dry out flooded Harrison Co. courthouse

Cold weather helps dry out flooded Harrison Co. courthouse
Damaged records at the Harrison County Courthouse. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Damaged records at the Harrison County Courthouse. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Records at the Harrison County Courthouse. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Records at the Harrison County Courthouse. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

CORYDON, IN (WAVE) – The cold temperatures are an adjustment for many as the weather leads to frozen pipes - and even frostbite injuries.

In Harrison County, the frigid temperatures are helping employees clean up the courthouse after problems with the pipes led to flooding.

The cold snap is actually helping to dry out the damp records and wet floors in the office.

"So for our process, trying to dry things out, the colder it is the better off we are," Harrison County Circuit Clerk Sherry Brown said.

It's been three weeks since water started pouring out from the third floor restroom at the courthouse.

Since then, they've had to rip out the carpeting and half of the clerk's staff has been displaced. But it's the records they're worried about.

"Those pages aren't going anywhere without tearing," said Brown.

Flipping through her once carefully-kept records, Brown said it's hard to see them looking like this.

"As long as we keep them in the freezer truck, nothing's going to happen to them. It's what's already been done, the initial water," Brown said.

The courthouse is still drying out after an old pipe detached from a toilet, leaking water into the second and first floors three weeks ago.

Brown said 20,000 gallons of water filled her office and other parts of the building before the leak was stopped.

Inside the clerk's office, the windows are cracked open to suck the moisture out of the room. Many of Brown's records sit outside in a giant freezer semi-truck.

It's an attempt to utilize the cold air to dry off the records the county needs to keep.

"A little at a time, the moisture is drawing out of the records," Brown said.

But drying them out takes time.

"I laid my hand on top of it. Not only was it ice cold, but you could also feel it's damp. So that's disheartening," Brown said.

Her office is turned inside out while crews work to repair the damage caused by the flood. Crews are taking measures to ensure this doesn't happen again.

Brown said she's looking forward to getting her office dried off and back to normal, even if it takes some time.

"Everything's so much better than it was though," she said.

They're keeping a close eye on how these records dry out, Brown said, because it's a matter of life and death, and civil and criminal and everything in between.

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