Broken water line floods Harrison County courthouse offices

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A water line break over the weekend flooded the north end of the Harrison County courthouse in Gulfport. Several ground floor offices, including the tax collector, were temporarily closed Monday morning until workers could clean-up the mess. Industrial fans helped dry water covered floors, while workers used wet vacs and mops to soak up the mess.

A broken water line in a men's restroom is what caused the courthouse flooding.

"It was just the first floor on the north end of the building. But that's a very vital part of the building. The worst damage right now, we lost a bunch of computers it appears. And a lot of carpet. Some desks," said county maintenance director Mike Wilson.

The tax collector's office is just across the hall from the restroom where the water line broke.

"As much as an inch and a half to two inches on the floor in here. And over the weekend, the boxes, like a wick, just wicked that water up and through them," said tax collector David Larosa.

The tax collector said much of that paperwork may have to be replaced. That includes boxes of receipts which his office is required to keep for three years.

"Some pretty good damage to our paperwork, sitting on the floor in boxes, receipts and so forth. We're not sure yet on our computers that were on the ground, until we get the power back on and check them out," said Larosa.

County workers and inmates and professional water removal crews worked quickly to sop up the mess. Several offices, including the tax collector, were closed throughout the morning, but reopened to the public by noon. While the tax collector's office at the courthouse in Gulfport was temporarily closed, the offices remained open in Biloxi and Orange Grove.

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