Oklahoma County Jail water cleanup

Workers clean up water Monday at the Oklahoma County jail.

More than 2,000 gallons of treated water poured into the first floor of the Oklahoma County jail Monday, destroying some personal property and requiring quite a cleanup, sheriff’s office spokesman Mark Myers said.

A radiator coil on the second floor froze and a 20-year old copper pipe burst, sending 2100 gallons of water into a large area of the south side of the jail, Myers said. The area includes inmate booking and receiving, attorney/bonds, inmate property, attorney visitation, transportation, judicial services and the sally port, Myers said.

“The water destroyed two computers and knocked out several security cameras,” Myers said. “These sort of issues have plagued the jail for years, and we see these structural problems at the jail almost daily.”

Myers praised employees who jump to the task of trying to keep the jail and sheriff’s office administrative offices up and running.

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel led officials on a tour of impacted areas. The jail, which opened with 1,200 cells and has a rated capacity for 2,950 inmates, is the largest detention facility in the state.

On Oct. 13, 1987, county voters approved a one-year, one-cent sales tax to raise $43 million for construction. In November 1991 the new jail opened. Almost from the beginning, it was besieged by an increasingly long list of issues.

Earlier this year, in August, collapsed sewer lines forced the jail kitchen to close.

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