‘Scales of justice’ bogged down

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A ruptured water main on Pakenham’s main shopping drag has flooded out a local law firm, sending its ‘scales of justice’ into the mud.

Mepstead Lawyers has lost its carpet and 30 client appointments after a burst pipe caused muddy water to seep in under the front door of the business.

Pakenham lawyer Timothy Mepstead said the water had “saturated” 60 per cent of the office.

“We’ve lost all our carpet. It was like walking on the MCG field after there’s been torrential rain. So it’s been fun,” Mr Mepstead said sarcastically.

“Everything is quite messy. We’ve had to move everything in our office; it’s all over the place and everything is just everywhere. We had to move our fixed desks around the office, and we’re virtually standing on concrete. Our scales of justice are in the mud.

“One of our staff was walking around the squelchy mud in gumboots which was quite amusing.

“We have a new computer system, and the main drive was sitting on the floor when we were flooded. Luckily, the water somehow went around it, and it wasn’t damaged.

Fortunately, our files are kept in the back of our office, so we haven’t lost any of our legal documents.

“It’s been a major expedition and a major exercise in patience. But at least they identified the problem early. Otherwise, it would have been a major nightmare; at the moment it’s just half a nightmare.”

Mr Mepstead said the firm was forced to cancel more than 30 client appointments.
He was only allowed a limited number of clients into the building while the South East Water crew undertook repair works directly outside the law firm.

“The boys were working from 5am on Wednesday until about midnight that night on Wednesday. Our client base has been very understanding,” Mr Mepstead said.

“Half the office should be rectified by Monday, but we were told that South East Water would need to come back and dig it all up again.”

South East Water spokesperson Matt Mollett said the water supply was restored late on Wednesday evening.

“We have since contacted all affected customers to apologise again for the disruption and to advise that crews need to return to reinstate a hydrant that was removed to speed up Wednesday’s repairs,” Mr Mollett said.

“These works will be scheduled at a time that minimises disruption and customers will be notified well in advance.”

The ruptured water main impacted 89 properties including 18 food businesses that were unable to access a water supply for an entire business day.

Many cafes including Gourmet No. 1 Chinese Restaurant, Cafe Vanille and French Patisserie, Pakenham Fish and Chips, Kebabs Pakenham, Cafe 127 and Giuliani Caffe were forced to shut shop on Wednesday due to the water main problem.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.


About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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