CAMPBELL, Ohio (WYTV) – Campbell City Hall was closed Monday because of water damage from heavy rain overnight.
Roughly two inches of rain that fell overnight covered the roof of city hall, leaking into just about every room in the building and all the way down to the basement, where the police department is located.
Mayor Nick Phillips said the drains weren’t working, causing water to pool up.
“Just so much water so fast. It was just overwhelming and the water had no place to go but inside city hall.”
Water dripped into electrical fixtures, causing ceiling tiles to come down.
The police department currently has no access to its normal quarters.
As cleanup crews removed wet boxes — full of Campbell police records — from a storage area, the department’s dispatcher was taking over a desk in the City Administrator’s Office one floor up. The equipment that’s normally used is now covered with a protective tarp.
“It’s gonna be down for at least a week or so. We have no LEADS where we can license plates at this time,” Chief Dennis Puskarcik said.
The police dispatcher had to rely on a laptop computer to keep her cell phone charged so the Sheriff’s Office could relay 911 calls, which she then sent out over a portable radio.
“We’re working through it to the best of our ability,” Puskarcik said.
In the Clerk of Courts Office, workers had to tear down a set of wooden storage cabinets that became waterlogged. They said metal cabinets saved the court records that were kept inside. However, the flooding rains may have destroyed some of the building’s electrical circuit panels.
Then, as if to add insult to injury, the city lost electrical service for about an hour and a half Monday morning when a transformer blew up.
Phillips said they’re not sure why this has happened. He said equipment and paperwork are damaged in several offices and he predicts a costly cleanup.
“I’ll guarantee you it’s in the thousands, definitely in the thousands. We’ve lost equipment, we’ve lost paperwork, the ceiling tiles themselves. Just the cleanup itself is going to be costly,” Phillips said.
While the mayor said he’s working with the city’s insurance provider to cover the damages, he’s hoping to have enough repairs done to reopen the offices later this week.
As the cleaning up and drying out continue, city employees are being told to return to their jobs as usual on Tuesday — even though some services will not be open to the public right away.
Chief Puskarcik said it could be a month before he’s able to dispatch calls or check driver’s license and registration information from city hall again. For now, both the Sheriff’s Office and Struthers police will help with that.
Campbell’s Municipal Court will be moving into temporary quarters at the Coitsville Township Administration Building on McCartney Road. Court will hold session there on Tuesday and possibly later this week as well.