The Oakland police headquarters building closed to the public Tuesday after a malfunctioning toilet in a third floor bathroom caused severe flooding overnight, officials said.

The building in downtown Oakland, at 455 Seventh St., normally opens to the public at 8 a.m., but was shuttered for the day to mop up and bring in dehumidifying equipment, officials said.

Staff still worked in their offices, but the public was not allowed in, which meant a delay in picking up copies of crime reports and property releases. Traffic accident reports were still available at the Eastmont station.

The station will "possibly" be open on Wednesday, police said on Tuesday evening.

The flooding was discovered about 3 a.m. Tuesday by an employee in the records section which is on the third floor. Something caused a bathroom toilet to malfunction and water was "shooting out everywhere," Lt. Brandon Wehrly said.

There was more than an inch of water on parts of the third floor.

Water seeped through the ceiling of the Criminal Investigation Division on the second floor, causing damage to at least one office and leaving puddles of water on that floor as well.

Water also seeped into the ceiling area of the first floor lobby area, causing some lights to go out and puddles to accrue on the floor below because of leaking.

Building engineers were on hand, directing mop-up, cleanup and repairs.


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A damage figure was not immediately available.

It is not the first time flooding has affected operations at police headquarters. In July 2007 a massive water break on the sixth floor of the nine-story building caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to that floor and floors below and forced some police units to relocate for months, including some to the Eastmont substation.

Check back for more details.