Under the Dome

Flooding damages state offices in Dobbs Building

Flooding over the weekend caused major damage to the N.C. Department of Insurance’s main office in the Dobbs Building, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said Tuesday.

Goodwin told the Council of State that a leaking fire sprinkler system left the entire first floor under up to two feet of water. In addition to Goodwin’s department, the Department of Public Safety, Cultural Resources, the N.C. Industrial Commission and others have first-floor offices in Dobbs, state property records show.

“There’s been significant damage to state records in several agencies,” Goodwin said. “We’re working to help address that.”

The entire floor is out of commission, forcing state workers to “double bunk” or move to other locations, Goodwin said. “We’re looking at a long time for a lot of repairs to take place,” he said.

The Dobbs Building is located at the northwest corner of Halifax Mall in downtown Raleigh, on North Salisbury Street.

Gov. Pat McCrory said the faulty systems at Dobbs shows the need for his proposed “Project Phoenix” overhaul of state buildings.

“We’re pouring a lot of maintenance dollars into D- or F buildings,” McCrory said, adding that his administration is currently reviewing which buildings should get a complete renovation rather than short-term fixes.

“It’s a long-term cost saving plan for the taxpayers, and I think it will bring better working conditions,” he said.

Goodwin said the Dobbs Building flood also highlights communication problems within state government. He says his department wasn’t notified about the incident for at least 24 hours.

“That delay led to our own delay to respond,” he said.