SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two years ago, the City of Suffolk spent $24 million on a new city hall building. However, the building saw significant damage when Hurricane Matthew visited the area.
Monday, rugs were getting replaced and crews were removing baseboard molding and cutting some drywall out, as well. As a result of Matthew, nearly two inches of water filled the west wing area of the building, which is about 40 percent of the ground floor.
Gerry Jones, the Director of Capital Programs and Buildings for the City of Suffolk. He says when he heard about the water entering the building, he rushed in Saturday night. He says the damage could have been much worse.
“Water was coming through our floor drains, which is a component of our sanitary sewer system. [Also,] water was coming through our mechanical rooms, our restrooms, our locker rooms, we had water coming in everywhere on that west wing,” said Jones.
Due to the water, some offices had to be relocated to other parts of city hall. A few computers were destroyed but the important thing to note – all city files were saved.
“[The water] came in and we worked quickly to get belongings up off the floor, files, computers and those kinds of things,” said Jones. “Anything that could have gotten damaged so we had very minimal damage as a result of being proactive.”
According to Jones, the building’s sewer system and rain water system couldn’t handle all of the water and became overwhelmed which eventually led to water seeping into the building.
Jones say the city tested the air quality today and everything is normal and crews sanitized the building, which is open for business as usual.