Repairs continue at Department of Social Services offices

Crews continue to repair water damage after a storm pipe eroded May 24 and poured water into the offices of the Buncombe County Department of Social Services. About 200 DSS staff members have been displaced since the May 24 incident, according to Assistant County Manager Mandy Stone.

The county will likely have to pay a $100,000 deductible for insurance coverage, says Stone, who estimated the total damage and related costs to be about $400,000.

The water flooded half of two floors of the building on Coxe Avenue, which serves as the hub for local residents seeking county social services. Stone estimates that about 1,000 people a day come through the offices that house programs such as child care, Medicaid and emergency assistance.

Water damage ruined carpet and cubicles, but computers were saved, Stone says. A number of DSS workers have been moved to the office building’s second floor, while others have been working from the field.

“The great thing about Buncombe County is how the team has pulled together” to tackle the problem, Stone says. New carpeting should be going in next week and the public hasn’t seen a disruption in service, she says.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor

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