Watch: Ohio Senate chamber floods after pipe bursts in statehouse ceiling

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Watch: Ohio Senate chamber floods after pipe bursts in statehouse ceiling

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When it rains, it pours.

A torrent of water flooded part of the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday, dousing the Senate chambers and a nearby lounge for senators. A video taken by outgoing Sen. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, showed water covering the Senate’s ornate carpet, as well as a trash can in the next room failing to control a waterfall that poured from the ceiling.

Hottinger, who is retiring due to term limits, was at the statehouse to collect his final belongings and turn in his office key and parking pass. The burst of water happened suddenly, he said.

“It’s not exactly how I thought my last day was going to go,” he said.

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The flooding was caused by a pipe that burst over the Senate chamber, said Laura Battocletti, executive director of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, which maintains the statehouse. Columbus experienced freezing cold temperatures last week that warmed slightly in recent days.

Statehouse workers turned off the building’s water within a few minutes. Before that, Hottinger said, water flowed down two levels of stairs and pooled outside Gov. Mike DeWine’s office. The statehouse press room also had water pouring through it.

Lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene for a new legislative session next week. Battocletti said her team had already begun drying the Senate carpet and a water restoration company was scheduled to assess the building later Tuesday. She’s optimistic that the damage won’t be too extensive.

“It’s such a historic building,” Hottinger said. “Hopefully there’s no significant structural damage.”

Watch Hottinger’s video:

Haley BeMiller is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

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