Bad timing and Mother Nature blamed for mess at State Capitol - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Bad timing and Mother Nature blamed for mess at State Capitol

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The sound of dripping water alerted a Capitol Police officer to a problem in the empty Senate Chamber late Sunday.Now, the buzz of moisture removal equipment fills the room. Senator Terry Burton-R is looking for a silver lining amidst the mess.

"This could have been very very bad," said Burton. "It's bad enough but it could have been a lot worse had it not been caught at the time it was."

Staff has started the temporary moving process. Senators' items are boxed up. Desks and chairs are being moved out. And electrical boxes are being carefully removed. Eventually the saturated carpet will be pulled up to dry before its re-laid.

"We're victims of bad timing," Burton explained. "The weather came in at the wrong time. The temperature was too low to pour the concrete for a period of time for it to cure, and so they didn't get the concrete poured on the roof."

That unfinished business outside allowed the rain to make its way inside. Burton arrived early Monday to a scary sight.

"I could visually see water coming down some of the windows," he described. "It was just coming in on top of the air units and everything."

Water also leaked into the room that's situated right below the Senate Chamber. It's a committee room now but was once the Supreme Court chamber.

Crews can't rush through the clean up process. There's historical value at stake. Water spots are visible on the walls made of scagliola. That's an imitation marble that cost less than the real stuff at the time of construction. Now, it costs more.

The drying process will take two to three weeks. They'll seal off the room and move dry, heated air through the walls and ceilings. The start of the 2015 legislative session on January 6 will serve as the deadline for the recovery.

The general contractor will be responsible for all costs associated with the water damage.

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