Rain drenches historic courthouse


By Andy Winemiller - [email protected]



DOBSON — Wednesday’s downpour took its toll on a building which is about 100 years old.

On Wednesday employees at the historic courthouse in Dobson witnessed water rushing through the ceiling in the building. Some standing water in offices could even be seen in videos of the incident.

Surry County Facilities Director Don Mitchell confirmed the courthouse’s roof had leaked. The roof is new and is part of the first phase of a renovation to the building.

“It mainly affected the east wing of the building on the second floor,” explained Mitchell. “One of the drain pipes from the roof got stopped up and water leaked in through the membrane on the new roof.”

Mitchell noted the water damage affected what was formerly the offices of juvenile justice. Those personnel had already been relocated to the county’s human services building as part of the project to overhaul the aging courthouse. Additionally, water leaked through the roof of a mock courtroom used occassionally by the district attorney’s staff.

“If it had to happen, it happened in a good location,” noted Mitchell, adding no employees were displaced as a result of the water damage.

According to Mitchell, it’s too early to tell what, if any, monetary damage was caused and whether or not the roof contractor would be liable for the repairs.

“We will work with the contractor to determine the exact cause,” said Mitchell.

Work to unplug the drain and to dry out the affected area started immediately on Wednesday and continued on Thursday, said Mitchell. Dehumidifiers were placed in the building.

“The carpet will have to be taken up on the second floor,” explained Mitchell. “It was old anyways, and that would have been part of the internal phase of renovation at the building.”

Mitchell added he has called in environmental personnel to conduct air quality tests in the building.

By Andy Winemiller

[email protected]

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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