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Hydrant Break Wreaks Havoc On Cook County Jail Intake

Cook County Jail

The Cook County Jail (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – Steve Patterson with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department says a construction crew working near the jail hit a fire hydrant line and 4 to 5 feet of water came gushing into the basement of intake.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Lisa Fielding Reports


“It was flowing in continuously. It was really a staggering amount of water, ” Patterson describes the scene.

Patterson says as a result, hundreds of new inmates awaiting booking had to be moved and visitation had to be closed for the day, “this is the hub of our operations, it’s the epicenter. It’s where everything begins. It’s where you go maximum or medium security. You get your uniform there.”

The hydrant line was capped quickly but not before several thousand gallons of water spilled into the receiving area of the jail, “It was a real team effort to get things under control. We used barriers to try and stop the water for rising. It’s a jail where 100-thousand people come in and out every year, it’s one of those wrinkle.”

Patterson says the water drained quickly but the area is where uniforms and personal property is stored and the women’s intake area is still uninhabitable.

The Emergency Response Team was even called in to help divert operations. Patterson says no one was injured and there were no security breaches of any kind but he says there may be some court delays Wednesday as a result.