Flooding Issues Worsen at Somerset County Sheriff's Office - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Flooding Issues Worsen at Somerset County Sheriff's Office

Posted: Mar 12, 2018 5:09 PM Updated:

WESTOVER, Md.- It doesn't need to be storming outside for there to be flooding issues at the Somerset County Sheriff's Office. As Sheriff Howard explains, the problems are only worsening with time.

"It [the water] was in my office and also in the adjoining office. Since I've been here, in 10 years we've had over eight floods," Sheriff Howard said.

Rain water trickles into the building from the ground as well as from the window, according to Sheriff's deputies.

Rust lingers on the ground from previous floods that show where filing cabinets and other items once were. Now, all cabinets and important items are kept on wheels in case they need to be moved in future flooding situations.

The Sheriff's Office building dates back to 1983, and the issues don't stop with the flooding. There's currently only one working bathroom in the facility, that's because of sewage problems.

"The pipes are cast iron and they're slowly collapsing, so that's where are issues are coming from there," Sheriff Howard said.

The Sheriff also says fixing the bad pipes could cost upwards of $97,000. But instead of patching up the issues, the Sheriff wants to build a brand new facility. One that could be home to both the Sheriff's Office and the Somerset County Emergency Services 911 Center.

"When Sheriff Howard approached me with the prospect of us combining facilities, we were really excited because a brand new public safety complex for us would be huge thing," Somerset County Emergency Services Director, Yvette Cross said.

Cross explained a bigger building would allow the 911 center to expand from four dispatchers to six.

If such a project was approved, it could be built behind the existing Sheriff's Office in Westover, Md.

No plans about merging the two offices have been taken to the Somerset County Commissioners yet. But Sheriff Howard said he hopes to do so within the next six months.


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