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Overflowing toilet closes Rogersville health department for cleanup

March 6th, 2014 12:26 pm by Jeff Bobo

ROGERSVILLE — The Rogersville branch of the Hawkins County Health Department will be closed at least until sometime next week due to an overflowing toilet that ran all night and caused extensive damage.

Rogersville staff have been transferred to the Church Hill and Sneedville health department facilities while a large crew works to clean, dry and repair the Rogersville facility.

Hawkins County Health Department director Susan Venable said the biggest impact will be on WIC and family planning clients, and they are begin referred either to Church Hill one Sneedville — whichever is more convenient to them.

“WIC and family planning are the services that people can’t wait on, so we have an alternate site for them to go to,” Venable said. “We’re turning people away from this building, but not from the service, because 20 minutes down the road, we’re hoping people will understand and be able to go that far to the Church Hill office.”

The flooding was discovered Wednesday morning.

According to county sources, a toilet in the main lobby, which is actually on the second level of the building, overflowed and ran all night.

Upper level carpeting and tile was damaged, and the water also poured down into the lower level, damaging ceiling tiles, furniture, computers, and flooring.

Venable said she had a “river running down the hallway.”

“They’re cleaning up and drying out,” Venable said Thursday. “It’s hard to say how long we’ll be closed, and I don’t think they’re going to know until late this afternoon or tomorrow as they’re getting more information — pulling tiles out and pulling tiles up. But, we’re looking at being closed at least for part of next week.”

Venable added, “That water, and being a health building, they have to make sure it is totally dried out. There was so much water on the floors even the wall absorbed it. We’ve got a company in here that specifically does health buildings and medical buildings, and they’ve got a ton of people in here working. We will get the word back out as soon as we reopen.”

The cost of the cleanup isn’t known at this time, but it’s expected to be substantial.

Patients needing an appointment should call the Church Hill Health Department at 357-5341.

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