WALB Exclusive: An inside look at the Albany Dougherty Judicial Building water damage

WALB Exclusive: An inside look at the Albany Dougherty Judicial Building water damage

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - WALB News 10 got an exclusive look inside the Albany Dougherty Judicial Building after parts of the interior were damaged due to flooding. Only our cameras were allowed inside.

Dougherty County’s Facilities Management Director Heidi Minnick said the building is now dry.

As WALB News 10′s Bobby Poitevint and county officials walked through the judicial building front doors, Minnick told them how she remembered seeing water rush down the stairway as if it was a waterfall.

Water damage inside the courthouse.
Water damage inside the courthouse. (Source: WALB)

“When I saw it raining in here and it was a very eerie, very strange feeling, and it made your heart sink. And when you come into a building that’s as iconic as this one, with a lobby that’s been this way since the 60s, when it was built and you know, you’ve got to make sure you put it back the same way. You kinda are overwhelmed,” explained Minnick.

Heidi Minnick
Heidi Minnick (Source: WALB)

Right now, officials are waiting on insurance and adjusters to figure out how much all of this will cost.

Thirty to 35 percent of the building will get some kind of repairs, according to Minnick. Some carpet, cabinets and wallpaper will have to be replaced.

“You can see where the water just penetrating the wood and has destroyed the finish,” said Minnick as she looked at a vintage wooden chair.

The flooding started on the third floor earlier this month. Staff said the flooding started because of a faulty waterline to a coffee machine. It had been leaking water for two days before a staffer caught it over the weekend.

Almost a month later, there’s still work to be done.

“And the water came out, as you can see, it damaged that (pointing at counter-top drawers). When we came in, it looked like a hose was on, like the ones you have in your backyard,” described Minnick.

They are looking at putting different coffee machines, ones that don’t have waterlines and are similar to what most people have at home, throughout the building.

Minnick said it’s up to the judges and department heads to help make that decision, but if they want to keep waterline coffee machines in parts of the building, staff said those lines will be redone to the county’s standards.

There are no new updates on when the public can return to the building or when court will resume at the judicial building, but they’re hoping late June or early July.

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