Busted pipes send water into courtroom

Frozen pipes caused a leak at the the Columbiana County Court in Lisbon, Ohio.

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Cleanup continues at the Columbiana County Municipal Court after water pipes and a sprinkler system froze, sending water into the hallways.

Almost two inches of water made its way into 7th District Court of Appeals Judge Charles Amato’s courtroom while court was in session. Water also soaked his chambers. He has been on the bench for less than 10 days.

He was on the bench when water started coming into his court and he said when the the sprinkler broke, it dumped about 200 gallons a minute.

Just a few feet away from the judge’s chambers, courthouse maintenance crews had to drill holes in the ceiling to put in new insulation.

Frozen pipes were an issue last year when the courthouse lost power. Crews made the necessary repairs.

Maintenance worker Jeff Elliott said the problem this time around is that it happened in a part of the building they can’t get to through the attic because of a fire wall. In order to fix it, they had to bring wooden boards with them to walk across the rafters.

“Those boards will stay there in case we ever have any future problems, which I hope we don’t,” Elliott said.

The main objective Wednesday was to get all the insulation back in. New material will be added on top of the old. Crews hope to complete the job by Thursday because a low of minus-17 degrees is expected Thursday night.

The courthouse is less than 10 years old, but has had issues from the start, including a leaking roof. Commissioners took the issue to court and ended up with a settlement.

Columbiana County Commissioner Jim Hoppel said insurance kicks in after $2,500.

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