Associated Press

Harvey-Damaged Courthouse in Houston Could Stay Closed Two Years

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Juan Lozano/AP

The Hurricane Harvey-damaged Harris County Criminal Justice Center in downtown Houston could remain closed for two more years during flood-related repairs.

The Houston Chronicle reports county officials on Thursday received an update from an architectural firm assessing the 20-story structure.

Harvey made landfall in South Texas on Aug. 25, causing storms that dumped several feet of rain and swamped parts of Houston. The lower part of the courts building flooded, with equipment damage affecting the entire skyscraper.

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Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack says the courts building will likely remain closed until late 2019 or early 2020. A cost estimate for repairs could be available by March.

Court operations and hundreds of staffers, including more than 30 judges, have relocated to other buildings with some makeshift courtrooms in a jail basement.

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