Hot and sticky as first floor of Courthouse reopens Wednesday

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The first floor of the Milwaukee County Courthouse reopened for business Wednesday morning, July 17th -- but it was another hot and sticky day at the Courthouse! Those who have been waiting for services since an electrical fire shut down the building over a week ago, found themselves on Wednesday trying to beat the heat indoors.

Following the electrical fire, the Courthouse is still not quite up to full power.

"One of the generators failed with air conditioning, so it`s obviously very hot in here. Humid, sticky,"

Fans were brought in Tuesday, but it wasn't enough to help workers and visitors beat the heat.

Portable generators were set up in hallways -- many on loan from the city.

At least five locations within the Courthouse have been designated "cooling spots," and the American Red Cross was asked to pitch in.

Yolanda Shelbourne was at the Courthouse Wednesday for jury duty.

"They had fans on in the jury room.  It seemed like the air was on - but not full throttle," Shelbourne said.

Departments on the building's first floor, like Child Services, with power strained, had to unplug any unnecessary equipment, like coffee pots, and keep some lights off in an effort to conserve energy.

While some patrons and even employees have been critical about the Courthouse reopening without air conditioning, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is defending the decision.

"We`ve got so many people who are passionate about getting back to work as fast as they can. They are the ones I have to keep reminding to drink water," Abele said.