WATERVILLE —  The Police Department’s detective division was flooded over the weekend from a toilet tank that cracked on the first floor of City Hall, sending water gushing through the floor to the basement.
At 4 a.m. Monday, police Sgt. Bill Bonney found two inches of water on the floor in the detective division, which includes several offices, police Chief Joseph Massey said. The water also flooded part of Massey’s office and soaked items in a closet there.
Detectives early Monday were moved to the Internet Technology training office on the first floor while their offices were being dried out.
Desks, chairs and cabinets were stacked in a hall outside the detective division as water was being sucked into a large barrel and industrial fans blew air throughout the department.
“This is a perfect example of why we can no longer function in this old and outdated building,” Massey said. “We need a new facility.”
Massey said he has seen three floods in his department in the last 10 years.
“This is just one of many issues that plague is and continue to inhibit our ability to really function the way we should as far as operations go,” he said.
Some computers got wet and a number of records may not be salvageable, according to Massey.
“The water ran into the filing cabinets  and into the desks,” he said. “To say the least, it’s been a mess and it’s been a trying day.”
Ceiling tiles were damaged as was carpeting, throughout the division. Baseboards had to be removed to help the drying process, Massey said as he led a tour though the basement, which was permeated with a musty odor.
“One of the things we’re concerned about is mold,” he said.
Much of the equipment and records were moved to the Police Department’s conference room, making that room unusable for meetings.
Advance 1 Cleaning employees were on the scene Monday. Massey’s executive assistant, Kathleen Kenney-Haley, was laying out police patches and other items to dry on her desk, to prevent them from becoming moldy.
City Manager Michael Roy estimated the damage to be between $4,000 and $5,000.
He said the toilet on the first floor that caused the problem is from 1955.
“The good news is that with the Opera House renovations, the city is going to be re-doing the bathrooms on this floor,” he said.
He estimated that detectives will be able to move back into their basement offices in a couple of days.
Meanwhile, Massey said police officials continue to pore through records and personal belongings to find what is salvageable and what is not. City Hall custodian Bob LaPlante moved much of the furniture out of the detective division starting at 4 a.m. Monday when he came to work, Massey said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]

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