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Broken pipe causes flooding at Clay County Courthouse

MOORHEAD-A water pipe that feeds a sprinkler system designed to snuff out fires was broken by a contracting company installing fiber optic cable in the area of the Clay County Courthouse Tuesday morning, Aug. 23, causing water to flood the lower ...

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A broken sprinkler pipe caused flooding early Tuesday in the basement of the Clay County Courthouse in Moorhead. Dave Olson / The Forum

MOORHEAD-A water pipe that feeds a sprinkler system designed to snuff out fires was broken by a contracting company installing fiber optic cable in the area of the Clay County Courthouse Tuesday morning, Aug. 23, causing water to flood the lower level of the building.

The line was quickly shut off, but not before the basement received a heavy dowsing, said Clay County Administrator Brian Berg.

The incident happened shortly after 10 a.m. Much of the water that leaked from the pipe was removed from the building by Tuesday afternoon.

Large fans were set up to continue the drying-out process.

The part of the basement affected by the flooding is an area largely used for storage, including storage of the county's election equipment.

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The hardware is stored on pallets, so water didn't reach the equipment, Berg said, adding he was grateful for the many helping hands provided by Moorhead emergency workers who helped remove the water Tuesday morning.

Berg said the problem occurred when a contracting company was installing fiber optic cable.

He said the new cable became entangled with existing cable that made contact with the water pipe, causing a joint to break.

Because of the incident, some court hearings that were scheduled for Tuesday morning were delayed, said Clay County Attorney Brian Melton.

Related Topics: MOORHEAD
I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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