The Lafayette Parish Courthouse is scheduled to reopen Thursday after an electrical short left the building without power and forced its closure all day Wednesday.
Construction crews have been renovating the top floors of the courthouse, and power went down Tuesday afternoon. A worker draining a sprinkler line leaked water onto the floor and into a piece of electrical equipment that reaches down to the basement, City-Parish Facilities Manager Jim Gros said.
He said the water caused a short in one of the main electrical distribution panels and tripped a main breaker.
“Nothing was working except the emergency exit lights,” Clerk of Court Louis Perret said. “No computers. No phones. No Internet. Nothing.”
There doesn’t appear to be significant damage to the electrical system, Gros said. The system was gradually brought back up to full capacity over several hours Wednesday, while technicians kept an eye on any problems.
“Everything is up and running,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “There is no obvious damage on any of the floors.”
Fifteenth Judicial District Chief Judge Susan Theall issued an order late Tuesday closing the courthouse, but Perret said word did not get to everyone and several people showed up Wednesday morning, only to be turned away by security personnel.
“I brought a hand-written sign and taped it to the door,” Perret said.