CORPUS CHRISTI - Maintenance workers had to shut down the Kleberg County Courthouse today when a sewage pipe broke. Executive Assistant at the courthouse, Tony Ramirez, said the courthouse will be 100 years old next September.
Because of this, it came as no surprise on when the pipes busted open, leaking rancid water onto the floor. It happened in the basement and, although what spilled was about two buckets of smelly water, people were definitely affected.
"Some people were gagging and a couple of people, I think, vomited," Ramirez said.
Court started as scheduled this morning, but after a few people complained about the smell, the judge decided to move all the court cases for the day across the street to the probations building.
"It's a safety measure," said Tomas Sanchez, Jr., Management Coordinator. "The judge wanted to (because of the smell a couple of the employees complained it smelled kind of bad) he said, 'OK in an interest of health and safety let's shut it down.'"
Courthouse visitors quickly learned they'd have to come back another day. Meanwhile, crews came in and replaced the old pipes with some PVC.
Sanchez says the whole building needs a facelift. Those kinds of improvements, however, will have to be approved by voters.
"This is a public building and if something like that is up for a vote by the public they can come down and take a look and maybe a picture is worth a thousand words," he said. "By them seeing the old pipes they get a better picture why the court is very concerned."
The Kleberg County Courthouse will be closed tomorrow for an inspection. The results of that inspection will determine when the building can reopen.