ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – The St. Louis Collector of Revenue’s Office inside city hall was closed Tuesday due to flooding from a broken pipe.
The clean-up was underway as officials total the losses and costs. The city is self-insured.
“I have heavy, heavy damage,” said Deputy Revenue Collector Tom Vollmer.
Vollmer said the chiller pipe for the air conditioning system broke overnight and flooded the offices for up to eight hours. The word went out that the personal property and real estate tax offices would be closed because of the flooding.
Air blowers were placed everywhere in hallways and offices within the department. Several computers were drenched and destroyed.
“I know that we lost a dozen computers so far that were damaged by water,” Vollmer said.
Room 109, which holds the Personal Property, Cashier's Office, and Finance Department divisions of the Collector of Revenue's Office, remains closed. The basement level of the Water Department.
The Earnings Tax Division (Room 410), the Department of Revenue (Room 111), and administrative offices (Room 110) remain open.
Vollmer said an inch of water covered the first floor and the basement, where a very expensive piece of equipment is stored. That equipment, the mailing machine, is made in England.
“It’s a huge investment,” Vollmer said. “It’s a quarter of a million dollar machine.”
Baseboards were pulled off and holes drilled to dry out the space behind the dry wall to prevent mold from growing.
The restoration company ran drainage lines from inside city hall to the outside. Carpet will have to be thrown away.
“It’s very frustrating. It’s an unforeseen accident. Can’t tell if it’s the age of the pipe or whatever; when something like this happens, it’s devastating,” Vollmer said.
Vollmer said damages and losses could total $50,00,0 but if the mail machine is ruined, that price tag could climb to $250,000.
They did try to help taxpayers who did not know about the flood and showed up at the offices.