BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s a big difference between what the outside of Walker’s City Hall looks like now compared to on June 6 when 7″ of rain fell in about an hour’s time. On that date, it looked like a pool of water.
“First time in my knowledge the City Hall flooded,” said Walker Mayor Jimmy Watson.
Mayor Watson says about two-thirds of the building took on anywhere between 1″ and 2″ of water.
“It was under our feet. It came in very quickly,” said City Hall employee, Janice Valenti.
Valenti was at work that Thursday and says she remembers having to move all the computers and electronics to higher ground.
“I’ve been here 14 years and I have never seen water like that. It came in so fast,” she said.
Sandbags outside the building serve as a reminder of June 6, as do all the offices in City Hall without flooring or carpet.
“ServPro came in and pulled the baseboards out, checked it out to see if it was dry, used the moisture meters,” said Mayor Watson.
Crews also ripped out some of the sheet rock in some offices. Despite it all, it’s business as usual at City Hall. Mayor Watson says in total, 28 buildings in the city took on water June 6. Some, like City Hall, did not flood in 2016, but did this time around. Others, like the mayor himself, flooded in 2016 and again on June 6.
“I was surprised because at the same time, I was getting calls from my brother, who lives next door to me, saying I was fixing to get water in my house, which by the time I got back, I did,” said Mayor Watson.
Walker is in the process of getting bids to replace all the flooring in their offices. In the meantime, City Hall is open for business. The city is in the process of getting a new City Hall. It’s expected to be completed by the end of 2020.