Flooded electrical room closes Belknap County Superior Courthouse

LACONIA — The Belknap County Superior Courthouse was evacuated and closed yesterday when water was found in the electrical room in the basement of the addition to the courthouse constructed in 1974.

Dustin Muzzey, the county facilities manager, said that because of the proximity of the water to the electrical panel the Fire Department was called and, after finding that pumps were controlling the water at manageable levels, concluded that there was no need to shut off the power. By then the courthouse had been evacuated and closed for the remainder of the day. Muzzey said that the courthouse would reopen on schedule Tuesday morning.

Muzzey said that the extremes of freezing and thawing created hydraulic pressures beneath the foundation that caused groundwater to find the path of least resistance, which he suspected was a a fault or crack in the foundation. "It's not uncommon in these conditions," he said.