An EMA office has been sealed.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
WARREN -- The Trumbull County Health Department is investigating a possibly dangerous mold infestation in its own basement.
The basement contains the offices of the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency, the local emergency planning commission, the hazardous materials team and a large meeting room for the health department.
The office door of EMA director Linda Beil was sealed with duct tape Friday and will remain sealed pending test results on mold found inside the walls.
Mold samples were sent overnight to a lab in New Jersey, said George Buccella, health department administrator.
In the meantime, Beil has moved out of her office into the HAZMAT office across the hall, and contents of a HAZMAT storage closet were moved into the meeting room.
Beil said she was told to stay out of her office until the air quality tests are completed.
Officials are considering canceling health board and emergency planning commission meetings set for later this month, she said.
"Until they find out exactly what that mold is, we have to withhold judgment," said Michael O'Brien, a county commissioner. The commissioners own the health department building on Chestnut Avenue.
County maintenance workers found mold behind the drywall in the EMA office Friday after they were called in because of a bad smell.
"The odor was terrible," Beil said. "It was a raunchy, nasty smell."
There have been water problems in different parts of the health department basement in the past.
On Thursday, after a night of heavy rain, employees arrived at work to find 2 inches of water on the meeting room floor.
Maintenance department workers discovered that the flooding was caused by a clogged gutter, O'Brien said.