Broken pipe floods two floors of courthouse in Annapolis

January 18, 1994

A 2-inch pipe in the Anne Arundel Circuit Courthouse in Annapolis burst in the bitter cold Sunday evening, flooding some offices and the street in front of the Church Circle building.

Robert Wallace, court administrator, said the pipe, which is part of the second-floor sprinkler system, burst at 6:15 p.m.

He said the break was probably caused by the low temperatures of the weekend.

Water gushed through the court reporters' offices and down onto the first-floor offices of the county licensing division. Some water also spilled

over the balcony of the 170-year-old courthouse, Mr. Wallace said.

Mr. Wallace said the court reporters and licensing personnel were moved to other rooms in the courthouse and were able to continue operations yesterday. He said that cleanup efforts were hampered by asbestos in the ceilings of the offices washed out by the flooding. Crews from T&P Engineering of Baltimore, an asbestos removal firm, were called in to assist in the cleanup.

Computers, transcribing machines and other electronic equipment in the offices may have been damaged by the flooding, Mr. Wallace said. Cost estimates for cleanup and repairs will be unavailable until the asbestos is removed and repairs are completed in the next two days, he said.

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