HANCOCK COUNTY -- Residents seeking to transact any type of business with the county government may have to wait until after Thanksgiving. The county is working to replace its computer system, which was damaged by a lightning strike.
The county's main server has been down since Nov. 9, keeping every office at the Hancock County Government Annex from processing any kind of tag, license or tax.
Tax assessor Jimmie Ladner said the server suffered a power surge from a lightning storm that swept through the area on the weekend before Veterans Day.
"We're not able to process anything," Ladner said. "It affects every office."
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors ordered a new system at a cost of $43,000. It will take up to 12 days to arrive, which places the latest installation date after the Thanksgiving holidays. At the earliest, the new server could arrive by Tuesday.
The county has been trying temporary patches while waiting for the new system.
The temporary fixes have so far been costly and unsuccessful, so the county will attempt one final patch Friday, Ladner said.
"There's a point where you have to balance out the costs," he said. "The patch that they're going to put on (Friday) is worth $1,700. We've already spent a little over $6,000 now."
If that patch doesn't work, the offices will have to wait for the new system to be installed.
"The residents of the county have been very patient with us," Ladner said. "We really appreciate that and want to assure them we're doing everything we can to get it back up and running."