By Lara Bricker

Hampton Union, Friday, April 16, 2004

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON – It was a familiar sight inside the Hampton Police Department this week after two days of rain – flooded floors and buckets filled with water.

The flooding problems have plagued the tiny building for years and served as a soggy reminder of one reason construction crews just across the parking lot are building a new Police Department building.

A mechanism that had been set up on the Police Department’s roof to help channel water off the roof broke, police Lt. Richard Sawyer said. A pumping system, which used sandbags to divert water, had been installed on the roof. As the heavy rains fell this week, one of the sand bags came apart. Sand fed into the pump system and clogged it. As a result, water started seeping into the roof and into the department.

By 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, the ceiling tiles in the sergeant’s office were saturated, Sawyer said.

“It’s just one of those issues, any time we get any heavy snow or rain, we have to be concerned about water coming into the building,” Sawyer said.

Facilities Manager Bill Gay started working on cleaning up the water early Wednesday morning. He was able to climb up on the roof and get the pump working again.

But the water was already inside.

Computers in the sergeant’s office were covered with plastic and buckets lined the floor as the water continued to drip inside.

“It’s kind of tough to conduct business, you’ve got to do the dance around the half-filled buckets of water,” Sawyer said. “It was puddled on the floor an inch deep in there and down the hallway.”

Gay spent a lot of time clearing out the ceiling tiles, which were soaked.

“We had to move files and furniture out of the way,” Sawyer said. “For most of the day the sergeant’s office was not able to be used.”