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Water seeps into offices inside police building in Valley Park

VALLEY PARK, MO (KTVI) - The effort to protect the St. Louis Police Department’s building from flooding hit a minor snag Wednesday afternoon.

About an inch of water seeped into parts of the West County Precinct on Vance Road.

Crews discovered about one inch of water in some offices. Volunteers immediately arrived on the scene to install pumps.

“In the grand scheme of things, it’s minor. It could be a lot worse,” Kasey Kaiser said. Kaiser is the president of the West County Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.

Kaiser said the four tons of sandbags surrounding the precinct remain in tact. The water, she said, is clear, and appears to be coming through the foundation.

“They’re thinking it’s the water coming in from underneath the building. The water table.

Because all of the water that’s out there is all river water, which is all brown,” she said.

The West County Precinct Commander, Captain Tim Cunningham, said the situation is minor compared to what staff went through during the 2015 floods. Officers were displaced for nearly six months after 18 inches of water entered the building. Much of the equipment was damaged, as workers only had a matter of hours to clear the precinct.

This flooding event is undoubtedly stressful, but advance warning allowed staff to remove desks, weapons, and other items.

Support from the community has made a difference, as well, Kaiser said.

“So many groups have stepped up, and really supported these guys.” Kaiser said, referring the volunteers who contributed time and manpower filling sandbags.

Massive pumps are now in place to remove the water. One of the pumps has the capacity to pump out 20,000 gallons of water an hour, she said.

“In the grand scheme of things, it’s minor. It could be a lot worse. But at least we have people to be proactive, and to try to get the water out as quickly as possible, and to stay on top of it and ahead of it.”

In the interim, staff at the West County Precinct have been moved to the St. Louis County Emergency Communications building in Ballwin.