After employees at the four-month-old Santa Clara County crime lab building packed their things for the night and locked the doors behind them, no one was the wiser to a vandal that slipped in to the state-of-the-art lab and took advantage of the full 24 hours it had to cause up to $1 million in damages. The vandal: water.
The water did not come from the heavy rainfall that took its toll on the Bay Area over a week ago. It came from the $75 million crime lab’s seals on the roof-top pump that cracked, sending tubs upon tubs of water down through all four floors of the lab. Many key areas were so devastated that employees had to find other areas to conduct their work. Processing evidence, which includes DNA, is going to be slower than usual. However, no evidence was damaged in the incident.
Tracey Kaplan with The Mercury News reports:
“Tuesday, crews were working to cut out soggy drywall, ceiling tiles and carpet. The work is expected to continue for six to eight weeks.
…Jeff Draper, the head of the county’s Facilities and Fleet Department, rated the damage on a scale of one to 10 at seven or eight.
…The incident is the latest in a series of embarrassing problems with county buildings over the years, including the condemnation and closure of the San Martin courthouse because of mold caused by leaks.”
There are many things offices can do to prevent and prepare for flood damage. When the unexpected happens, restoration specialists can come in to help assess the damage, help dry and clean-up, and restore documents damaged by the flood.