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A million gallons of water leave Oklahoma City workers, utilities department without office

OKLAHOMA CITY – Hundreds of Oklahoma City employees are looking for a new office after a massive flood destroyed a city building.

The damaged building is home to MAPS, Oklahoma City’s Parks and Recreation Department and, ironically, the city’s Utilities Department.

Crews are trying to clean the facility after water gushed through the halls and  flooded the inside of the building.

Kristy Yager, with the City of Oklahoma City, said, “A sprinkler system line broke in the basement and it filled it up with about 1.3 million gallons of water.”

An electrical panel was submerged, leaving as many as 700 city employees in the dark and without an office.

One of the departments affected by the flood is the Utilities Department, which officials say could cause some problems for the public.

Yager said, “As far as the impact to the public, probably the biggest impact is the Utilities Department that handles customer service, that does the utility billing. We’re going to do the best we can to help them.”

Water extended from the floor to the ceiling of the building.

Officials estimate 10 feet of water filled the basement, damaging personal photos, books, desks and other office equipment.

She said, “We’re just looking to get electricity back in the building to make sure it’s safe to be down here, if it’s safe to have electricity on and to start getting critical elements back on in the building.”

City officials are waiting to hear the cost of damages but say they have budgeted for their insurance premium, which is $250,000.