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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ind. Courts - More on Jackson County Courts flooding - a first-hand report

Updating this post from this afternoon, the ILB just received more information:

Ms. Oddi, I am a big fan of the ILB. Really helps me keep up to date.

I read your post "IND. COURTS - JACKSON SUPERIOR COURT I JUDGE BRUCE MARKEL III TAKES A CALL IN HIS OFFICE, SHORTLY AFTER IT SUSTAINED HEAVY WATER DAMAGE IN A SPRINKLER PIPE BREAK"

I am the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney whose office is in Jackson Superior Court #1. I thought I could give you a more detailed description of the flooding if any of the readers were interested. I've also attached some pictures I took myself.

I was in my office in the early afternoon. One of the primary pipes for the building and the sprinkler controls and other machinery run through/into a closet immediately adjacent to my office. A loud grinding sound was coming from that closet at about 1:15 PM. Whatever is in there had made this noise multiple times in the year that I have been there, so it didn't alarm anyone. After about twenty minutes of the grinding, it suddenly stopped. And, in the same instant the grinding stopped, the fire alarm activated.

My staff and I exited the building as well as the rest of the court's personnel and the clerk's office. Judge Markel was out of the office at the time. Shortly after everyone was outside, the court's bailiff came out to tell us that the back hallway was flooding. This hallway runs from the court's office, past the Judge's office, behind the main courtroom, and then further down the building. I went inside to grab the judge's computer and the water was pouring out right above his desk.

The fire department and police arrived within 10-15 minutes of the alarm sounding and they quickly turned off the water. The real damage was limited to Judge Markel's office and his office staff's area. The courtroom took some fairly significant water, but did not get far or deep enough to cause any real damage. As far as I could tell, the water primarily damaged the most recent of Judge Markel's reference books (and thus, the most valuable), possibly his diplomas and bar certifications on his wall, and other materials he had compiled himself.

As of today (1/14), we are planning to conduct court in the main courtroom tomorrow for the first time since the flooding. While Judge Markel and his staff's offices' are being dried and carpeted, his operations have moved into another part of the building. Fortunately, it has not caused any major interruptions due to the quick response of local officials.

Again, love reading the ILB.

Tyler Banks
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

And I in turn love first-hand reports like this from readers.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 14, 2014 06:42 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts