LORIS, SC (WBTW) – The City of Loris says some of its important records could be gone forever after rain from Hurricane Florence caused the roof of city hall to collapse, right above the city’s record room.
“The records, some of which were completely destroyed, some of which we’re trying to restore, and others are being stored and were dried out,” Damon Kempski, Loris’s city administrator said.
The city’s records room held all of Loris’s hard copies of important documents, like tax information, personnel files, business contracts and historical papers.
In some cases, the documents in the room were the city’s only copies.
“Unfortunately a lot of these were old documents, some of them were new, but we didn’t start having digital copies of documents until about three years ago, so all of the hard documents for the city were stored there,” Kempski said.
City officials say it has been difficult to determine exactly how many documents, and which ones were destoryed from the water because city hall is temporarily operating out of the public safety building until it can be repaired.
“We’re still in the process of sorting everything out. We’re going through records and finding things that were destroyed or damaged as we need them, as we go and look through everything,” Kempski said.
The City of Loris did manage to save city ordinances, property deeds and meeting minutes, however, the fate of the rest of their records must still be determined.
Despite this, officials say the damage to city hall has not impacted how Loris functions.
“We’re fully operational and this is not something that’s inhibiting us from providing services for the community. It is something that is difficult, but we’re able to operate around it,” Kempski said.
The City of Loris says it is waiting on FEMA funding to repair city hall. According to officials, it will be at least one year before the building is fixed.