Sprinkler line bursts in Midland County courthouse causing water damage

The courthouse, like many other buildings in the area, fell victim to frozen pipes this week.
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 5:20 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - The winter storm that wreaked havoc on Texas this week has left behind a trail of destruction.

The Midland County courthouse sustained water damage due to the cold conditions.

The courthouse, like many other buildings in the area, fell victim to frozen pipes this week.

A member of the Midland County facilities team was doing a routine check of the courthouse when he discovered a leaking sprinkler head.

Twenty minutes later, the sprinkler line ruptured and left extensive water damage on the building’s first floor.

“A lot of the sprinkler lines, there’s some that still may be frozen on the outside. We won’t know which ones until we start thawing out. Once temperatures start rising, that’s when we will start paying attention to other areas as well,” said Midland County facilities director Eddie Melendez.

The courthouse’s areas that saw the most damage included the law library, security equipment, and electrical outlets.

The facilities team has been working overtime to clean up the building and get it open to the public.

“They’ve been working hard. early mornings, after hours, making multiple rounds...not just here but all of our county facilities. So I give these guys a lot of props. As I said, they’ve been here through the temperatures, driving on the slick roads,” said Melendez.

The sprinkler system has been repaired.

But Melendez says that the facilities team expects to see more damage as it gets warmer and pipes thaw out.

“We’re just working hard to get us back open again. We’re preparing for any kind of issues that we see to get them taken care of as soon as possible,” said Melendez.

The courthouse is closed for the time being, but Melendez hopes that it can be opened up at some point next week.

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