By Rikki King Herald Writer
MUKILTEO — It could be six weeks before the Mukilteo police station is good as new.
A fire-sprinkler water pipe burst in the station’s ceiling Dec. 8, dumping as many as 3,000 gallons of water.
No police evidence was damaged, Mukilteo Police Chief Rex Caldwell said Monday. The water also did not get into the case records — most of which are required under state law to be kept safe for years.
“We were really, really fortunate that none of those records got wet,” the chief said. “The only materials we lost were hundreds of blank forms and a couple of days’ worth of casework sitting on someone’s desk getting processed.”
The preliminary damage estimate is $100,000, mostly involving furniture, carpet and drywall, Caldwell said. Officials believe the water ran for about 40 minutes before the leak was discovered.
The break happened about 2:30 p.m. on a Sunday. Three police officers were on duty at the time and were out on patrol, Caldwell said. The police department is looking at the building’s design to see how to prevent future problems. They’re also making sure all staff know where the shut-off valves are in the building, the chief said.
The pipe broke at the end of the recent cold snap. Water was trapped in the ceiling until bursting through the tiles, Caldwell said.
“It was coming down and running down the walls to the floor,” he said.
The police station lobby was closed for three days. As many as 30 fans and 10 dehumidifiers were brought in.
The construction could take six weeks. Some items are being kept in temporary storage, and others have been moved around to get the front office back open, Caldwell said.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org.