Water line break causes KCMO City Hall to close for the day

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  A water line break has shut down City Hall for the day, causing city employees to scramble to set up shop somewhere else and leaving citizens with municipal business in a lurch.

"I  just drove all the way across town for an 11 o’clock appointment!" said Danny Smith, one of many frustrated City Hall visitors.

There's no sign on the doors to let people know that City Hall is closed for the day. And many people showed up only to be turned away.

It's unclear when it will re-open.

City Manager Troy Schulte tweeted the break has "disrupted building life safety capabilities. All other city facilities are open as scheduled."

According to the city manager's Twitter account, a two inch fire suppression water line broke between the lobby and the basement last night, causing significant flooding.

Electrical transformers were soaked, leaving the building without electricity.

But that's little consolation for those with appointments, some traveled downtown not knowing what happened.

"I'm walking around to another door assuming something was wrong with this one," said Smith, who was hoping to get his plans reviewed by city officials. "They can do better letting people know what’s going on."

The building's electrical equipment needs to be dried out and restarted. That's why City Hall has been closed. Departments are shifting their operations to other sites as part of a continuity plan. The city's 311 Action Center is one of the departments affected. Callers seeking information waited on hold for about 15 minutes this morning to learn what had happened.

Employees told FOX 4 building problems are not unusual in a structure that dates back to the Great Depression.

City Manager Troy Schulte is getting briefed the latest efforts to make City Hall operational again.

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