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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Montgomery Offices Set to Reopen

Work to clean up and repair flood damage caused by a broken water main at the Montgomery County Human Services Center should be complete in about a month.

Tom Brennan, the county’s risk management coordinator, estimated the cost of the cleanup and repair thus far to be more than $800,000, with insurance covering all but $100,000 of the damage.

The 8-inch-diameter water main began leaking early Feb. 11, inundating the first floor with water and mud and preventing offices from opening that day. The flood displaced some county departments, including the Coroner’s Office.

Dozens of those employees continue to work at satellite offices in Pottstown and Willow Grove until work at the 1430 DeKalb St. facility is completed.

The coroner’s operations relocated to the Emergency Operations Center in Eagleville, where the office occupies space in five garage bays.

The broken pipe has been replaced and was successfully tested this week, and the auxiliary water line that had been serving the building was shut off, according to the risk management official.

A prompt emergency response after the flooding was discovered around 3:30 a.m. saved the offices from more extensive damage, including mold.

“We attacked that first phase very aggressively,” Brennan said of the initial cleanup. “Mold was an immediate concern.”

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