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State Capitol Flooding Highlights Potential Cost Of Deferred Maintenance

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A pipe burst at the state Capitol over the weekend, flooding the office of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's office.

The second-floor pipe burst leaked to the bottom floor, sending lawmakers scrambling. One lawmaker says the problem wasn't discovered until a security guard noticed it in the basement.

A single broken sink pipe inside Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez's office caused a slew of problems for his office and Newsom's office.

"Security guard didn't notice it until 4:30 a.m., so that means my office on the second floor plus the lieutenant governor's office had a flood before it got to the basement," he said.

Newsom's office is gutted after the ceiling, walls and carpets were ruined.

Gomez says it could take weeks and thousands of taxpayer dollars to clean it all up, but the real cost will come down the line.

"It shows that we do have a need to take care of our deferred maintenance that we let go over the years," he said.

The historic state Capitol was built in the 1800s, but went through a major remodel in the 1970s. That makes the new annex where the pipe burst even older—it was built in the 1950s and hasn't had a major remodel since.

A recent government report on neglected state buildings says the state first needs to address a backlog of deferred maintenance at an estimated cost of $140 million.

As far as the repairs at the Capitol, there's no official estimate on the cost.

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