CLAYTON • A water pipe burst inside St. Louis County Police Department's headquarters Tuesday night, collapsing the ceiling of the basement 9-1-1 dispatch center, police say.
Fire alarms began sounding inside headquarters about 6:30 p.m., and firefighters found a broken 1-inch pipe in the county's revenue collection office directly above the dispatch center, police said. The collector's office was empty when flooding began and started seeping through the floor.
The soggy ceiling over the communications center collapsed about 7:30 p.m. at headquarters, 7900 Forsyth Boulevard in Clayton, police say.
The department has moved its dispatchers to the county's emergency operations center, 14847 Ladue Bluffs Crossing Drive in Chesterfield. Police said the flooding did not disrupt 9-1-1 calls.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said he expects the dispatch center to be closed until at least Friday. He said workers managed to cover much of the electonics with plastic trash bags before the ceiling collapsed and prevent damage.
Carpeting and other surfaces need time to dry out but Fitch believes none of the equipment was damaged.
Extreme cold has put a strain the region's infrastructure, with work crews responding to and reparing leaks across the metro area.
But the bitter cold temperatures of the past few days appear to be behind us. Wednesday's afternoon high temperature was expected to reach 31 degrees. About a half-inch of snow is expected Wednesday night. Thursday could bring a chance of drizzle with highs in the mid 30s. Rain is in the forecast for Friday night with temperatures in the mid 40s.