Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Burst pipe forces Hillsborough County Center in downtown Tampa to close

TAMPA — A burst water pipe forced the closure Monday of the Frederick B. Karl County Center in downtown Tampa.

The 28-story building at 601 E Kennedy Blvd. is set to reopen today, but work remains drying out floors and walls and determining the cause of the leak, said Tom Fass, the county's real estate and facilities management services director.

The third-floor pipe, which sends water into the building's fire sprinkler system, burst about 7 p.m. Sunday, Fass said. A security guard noticed it and county employees stopped the leak within 30 minutes. But by then enough water had streamed from the high-pressure pipe to flood the bottom three floors.

The water damaged the building's potable water system, disabling all bathrooms above the second floor, and knocked out several elevators. By late Monday afternoon, bathroom service had been restored throughout the building, where about 1,200 county government employees work.

Monday's incident provided county offices with an opportunity to test their COOPs — Continuity of Operation Plans — that are used to ensure government services continue in an emergency like a hurricane. Many employees worked from home or reported to remote sites.

Large plastic tubes lined the second floor — County Commission chambers and commissioners' offices — pumping hot air into walls to dry residual water and prevent mold. More than 100 carpet dryer units were in use around the building.

The damage could cost more than $200,000, Fass said, but the cost to the county should not exceed $100,000, its insurance deductible.

A similar incident happened on Memorial Day weekend, Fass said, but because it was a holiday weekend the building did not need to be closed. County workers are trying to figure out what caused the pipe the burst.

"We're trying to investigate what caused this, so we're not dealing with this again in three weeks," Fass said. "It's been a long two days."

Times staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report. Will Hobson can be reached at (813) 226-3400 or whobson@tampabay.com.

Burst pipe forces Hillsborough County Center in downtown Tampa to close 06/16/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 16, 2014 11:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]