Video shows extensive flooding of Ohio Statehouse after burst pipe

Credit: Sen. Jay Hottinger

Credit: Sen. Jay Hottinger

A burst pipe at the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday morning caused severe flooding in the historic building, according to video posted by a lawmaker to Twitter and an alert sent by the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board.

The leak started about 9 a.m. above the ceiling in the Senate visitors’ lounge, said Laura Battocletti, executive director of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board.

“It was just so bitterly cold and things froze up. And as they started to thaw we had a break in the fire suppression line,” she said. “We were able to isolate that and shut it off, but obviously not before we had a lot of water come through.”

Water spilled into the Senate chamber, and down through the walls and ceiling into the Statehouse press room.

“It was actually flowing down the stairs outside the chamber,” Battocletti said.

The pipe took only a few minutes to isolate and shut off, but water continued draining into rooms for a while, she said.

The Statehouse’s furniture and artwork appear to be undamaged, Battocletti said. The major concern is for the Senate chamber’s carpet; a professional carpet-cleaner was contacted to dry it out, she said.

Senate Republican Communications Director John Fortney said the Senate sergeant-at-arms was on duty, spotted the leak and alerted CSRAB.

“The majority of the water has been vacuumed, but water damage assessments are underway,” Fortney said. “We will be ready to go for the Jan. 3 opening day.”

That’s the day legislators convene for the opening of the 135th General Assembly.

Video posted to Twitter by state Sen. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, shows a torrent of water gushing into the Senate chamber, leaving standing water in a large area.

“My last day at the Statehouse not going very well,” tweeted Hottinger, who is retiring at the end of this year.

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