GRAY — Portions of Town Hall will remain closed to the public and the clerk’s office relocated for the foreseeable future after multiple burst water pipes caused significant damage to the building, said Town Manager Deb Cabana.

Three sprinkler pipes burst the evening of Jan. 31, flooding the first floor of the Pennell Municipal Complex at 24 Main St. with hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, Cabana said. Crews had already been on site that week to clean up an earlier incident when a single burst sprinkler sent about 80,000 gallons of water gushing into some town offices, including the clerk’s and manager’s offices.

Gray Fire/Rescue responded to both incidents, according to a post on their Facebook page.

“Upon arrival, water was seen coming out of the entry doors and roofline pouring into the parking lot, and an active leak was discovered,” read the post. “An all-hands tone was given to bring in as much manpower as possible.”

Cabana said Monday morning that she “can’t even begin to speculate (the) monetary costs” to repair the building but that there is a “substantial amount of damage.” Insurance adjusters have already been through twice, she said.

She said that although the fire-resistant vault that contains the town’s records sustained water damage, vital records were on upper shelves and undamaged.

“It’s a mess here, for sure, but nothing that cannot be fixed,” she said.

A video from Gray Community Television showed ripped-up carpet and gutted walls, including in the main lobby and council chambers. Dozens of industrial fans are running constantly, but Cabana said crews had to pull the sheet rock out of some walls that were soaked through.

Cabana has been on the job for 15 years and is retiring next month. Nate Rudy, who is currently the Hallowell city manager, will take over March 1. Cabana said her last day will be around mid-March so that she can be on hand for the transition. She does not expect recent events to delay that date.

“It’s been a little emotional for sure because I was here in 2010 when we saw this beautiful building renovated,” Cabana said. “It’s one of the most beautiful town halls in Maine and it will be again.”

The clerk’s office is temporarily located on the second floor of the Town Hall and is open for all services.

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