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Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 @ 11:49 AM
Updated: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 @ 5:52 PM
A massive roof leak revealed flooding Tuesday morning inside the Montgomery County Job Center, leaving Family Assistance Division caseworkers temporarily unable to access cases or start new ones within the benefits eligibility system for programs that include food stamps.
About 150 workers were displaced and 27 state computers ruined by flooding, said Kevin Lavoie, a Montgomery County spokesman.
Contractors are partway through a new roof project, and a system designed to keep water out between old and new sections of the roof failed overnight, Lavoie said.
Six inches of water was pumped out of the area near the desk where people walk in to apply for benefits, he said. About 200 ceiling tiles also came down or were ruined.
“It’s quite a mess here,” Lavoie said.
The state’s benefits portal at the Job Center went down briefly Tuesday morning but came back online, Lavoie said.
“We’ve had minimal service interruption here,” he said.
Strong storms hit the area overnight, dumping between a half and 1.5 inches of rain across the area, said Storm Center 7 meteorologist Jesse Maag.
By noon, doors were back open at the division for people seeking public benefits, but the caseworkers had been relocated to the desks of those on vacation or out sick as well as to a large training room in the building and a state facility on Poe Avenue.
The Family Assistance Division manages programs for needy families, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, time-limited cash assistance, Medicaid benefits, child care and adult protective services.
Lavoie said the county is still assessing its portion of the damage.
Montgomery County leases the building from St. Vincent de Paul, which owns and manages the complex on Edwin C. Moses Boulevard in Dayton.
The roofing contractor, Cotterman and Company Inc. out of Minster, is about three weeks into the three-month replacement project, according to the county.