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Governor's Smoking Tent Blamed in Flood at Capitol

September 22, 2004|Bloomberg News

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's smoking tent in his office courtyard at the state Capitol is being blamed in part for the flooding of several rooms in the historic building.

Artificial grass that Schwarzenegger had installed under the tent apparently blocked a drainpipe as a rare summer storm dumped more than 2 inches of rain in less than an hour on the city Sunday. The courtyard flooded, sending water under the doors of nearby offices.

"We don't know how much it exacerbated the problem, but we can say that it certainly didn't help," said Scott Edelen, spokesman for the state Department of General Services, which maintains the Capitol. No furniture or historical documents were damaged, he said.

Schwarzenegger, a cigar aficionado, had the custom tent installed in the center of a suite of offices used by him and his staff. He often meets with legislators and advisors in the 11-by-16-foot khaki-colored canvas tent.

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