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County courthouse, city hall to be closed Friday due to main break

Posted at 7:28 AM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 07:40:52-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thursday afternoon, Jackson County decided to shut down the downtown courthouse for another day because of a water main break.

For the better part of Thursday the sounds of water pumps filled the air at the Jackson County Courthouse in downtown Kansas City.

A worker told 41 Action News at least eight feet of water flooded the basement overnight.

"It has affected the electrical areas down in the basement in the downtown courthouse. As such, we have closed the building for today out of the safety and security for our associates," Marshanna Hester, a Jackson County, Missouri spokesperson said.

The closure caught some folks off-guard.

"It's one of those things. You're here for a meeting and then for some reason you don't check your e-mail right before getting to the meeting," Sandeep Khandelwah, who was scheduled to attend a meeting at the courthouse, said.

Johan Erquhart traveled to her bank to withdraw money to pay her taxes only to find closed signs plastered around the courthouse.

"I was wondering why it was so clear for me to be able to get a handicap parking place when I drove up," Erquhart said. "It's very inconvenient that you go all the way out there and come out all the way out down here to pay them then you can't."

The county said those who owe taxes can still make payments at the Historic Truman Courthouse in independence.

People with court hearings scheduled at 415 East 12th for Thursday and Friday will be rescheduled. Cases at the Criminal Justice Building will continue as scheduled.

During this outage, persons seeking an order of protection can file their paperwork with the Criminal Records Department, 1315 Locust Street, or at the Eastern Jackson Courthouse in Independence.

The mess also caused city hall across the street to lose power, sending employees to work at other city buildings. For instance, KCMO's finance department worked out of the Office of Emergency Management processing income taxes.

"We are continuing to operate services almost normally. There are a few small impacts, but for the most part, services are continuing as usual," Chris Hernandez, a KCMO spokesperson said.

The city said late Thursday they are planning on being open on Friday, but KCP&L would still be working overnight to finish repairs to City Hall. Early Friday, they revised this statement, saying staff should still report to alternate work locations as KCP&L works to reconnect and check the building.

A KCP&L spokesman says they are still working with the county on repairs to the courthouse, but don't have an estimate on when power might be restored.