Officials blame ice, rain for flooded courthouse

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Associated Press

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 4:02 PM

WHITESBURG, Ky. (AP) — Flooding at an eastern Kentucky courthouse is being blamed on ice and rain.

Letcher County Judge-Executive Jim Ward told WYMT-TV (http://bit.ly/1euN1OJ) that at least a foot of water leaked through the courthouse roof and two other floors of the building.

"Between the ice and all the rain we've had, the water just couldn't get out and stood on the roof so it found a way through the roof and down into the offices," Ward said.

Inmates housed in the building's basement noticed the leak around midnight on Monday and later worked alongside county employees trying to clean up the mess.

"We had a lot of our inmates come up and help us move files. They swept and got a lot of our ceiling tile already cleaned up," Ward said.

Although thousands of files got wet, Ward said they were all backed up electronically.

Court hearings that were set for Monday are being rescheduled. It wasn't clear when the building would reopen.

"We had trials set for this morning and had to call those off. We've got hearings set for tomorrow and Wednesday and a bench trial Friday. So, I'm not sure how quickly we can get back operational," Letcher County Circuit Court Judge Sam Wright said.

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Information from: WYMT-TV, http://www.wkyt.com/wymtnews

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