Employees say Richmond Co. Sheriff's Office regularly floods

By  | 

It has been a disruptive day at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Employees found the second floor of the building flooded with water.

They say this is a common problem, and they're sick of it.

When Patti Norris arrived at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office Friday for work, she was greeted by the sound of blowers working to get rid of the water.

Leaking pipes have flooded offices, even getting to personnel files.

"The ceiling tiles were falling, the water damage was all in the hallways," Patti says.

The sheriff's office says this is a continuing problem, and the flooding is causing disruption with work.

"I am working in the same office, just with a lot of commotion," says Patti.

Some offices weren't even usable, leaving employees to find other places to work. That includes the receptionist, who normally works behind a window.

Col. Gary Powell says displacing her poses a security issue.

"As you saw coming in today, our receptionist, who is more like live security that lets people in a secure door, is sitting in the hallway, and now the door is wide open," he says.

"Sometimes I don't think the public is aware of how bad this building really is," says Patti.

At least one wall is ruined, and carpet in many offices will need to be cleaned or replaced.

It's a problem administrators have taken to city commissioners before.

"It seems like a total waste of money for us to keep pouring money into this building when it is falling down around us," says Col. Powell.

And while business goes on, it's still a story of troubled waters downtown.

Last year, sewage was leaking from an area in the jail where HIV-positive prisoners are kept. It was directly over an area where some criminal investigators have their offices.

Water tests are being done to determine if it is sewage leaking this time.