Wilson County Health Department Drying Out After Flood
Posted July 20, 2004 2:58 a.m. EDT
WILSON, N.C. — A broken pipe left behind a soggy mess at the Wilson County Health Department.
A rusted water pressure valve in the ceiling burst right over the health department's medical records room Sunday night.
By the time someone noticed, water had flooded half the building and doused hundreds of records.
"At first, we thought we'd have a pretty bad problem because some of the files we were going through -- the ink had completely evaporated off the page," said Dr. Louis Latour, Wilson County health director.
The county brought in fans and dehumidifiers to try to save as many files as possible.
As crews worked to repair the broken valve on Monday, another valve burst.
"We had a situation that almost was going to be as big a catastrophe as we had Sunday, but that seems to have been averted," Latour said.
No was no additional damage from the second pipe break.
The staff is working around large fans and a musty smell, but health officials say there are no health problems.
It could be days before all of the records are dry enough to sort through. Most of the wet files were not backed up, Latour said.
The pipe problems have now been fixed.
Clinics are open as usual. The county health department is also a polling location for Tuesday's primary.