MILLER COUNTY, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Most offices located at the Miller County Courthouse are being moved to another building in downtown Texarkana on Tuesday, after several pipes burst over the weekend.
This comes just days after an extreme winter storm struck the region. “It was like Niagra Falls in the stair wells, it was. On the fifth floor the water was about 6 inches deep, the closer you went down to the basement the less it was, but there was at least an inch everywhere,” said Miller County Judge Cathy Hardin Harrison.
A state of emergency in the county has been declared by Harrison, which should help make additional funds available if they’re needed. “You know, you have to meet a certain dollar amount threshold and this courthouse alone has done that,” she said. However, Harrison added that it appears the damage will be covered by insurance. “We had a meeting yesterday with the adjustors, and just off the top of their heads, they were saying 10 to 15 million dollars in damages.”
Harrison said it’s estimated some offices may be able to move back into the first floor within 6 to 8 months. “The lobby areas are gonna have to be replastered, that’s what’s going to take 6 to 8 months is the lobby area out here, the water ran behind the paint,” Harrison said.
She urged people to try to conduct their business online if possible.
Harrison said most offices on the second floor have been moved to the Landmark Building, which is located at 210 N. State Line Avenue. However, the Circuit Clerk’s Office will be moved to the SWAT building. A post on the office’s Facebook page states, “At this time, most of the office staff will be working remotely from their homes, with only a limited number of staff setting up workstations at the SWAT building in order to conduct in-person business, by appointment only … If it is absolutely necessary for you to conduct your business in-person, we will be setting appointments. For scheduling, please call our office at 870-774-4501 or 870-774-4502.”
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office along with offices of Circuit Judges will also be moved to the Landmark Building. The Office of Emergency Management, along with the Coroner’s Office and Arkansas State Police, have relocated one block away from the courthouse, on Hazel Street. The Veterans Service Office has moved to 409 Hazel St., and the Miller Co. Extension Office has moved to Jefferson Avenue.
Some court cases will be heard at the courtroom located at the Miller County Sheriff’s Office. The City of Texarkana, Ark. has also offered its courtroom in the Bi-State Justice Building, if it’s needed. Harrison said Miller County Quorum Court meetings will be held at Texarkana, Ark. City Hall.