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Flooding Knocks Out L.A. 911

October 12, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Hundreds of gallons of water flooded a City Hall room that houses the city’s 911 system, interrupting emergency service for 17 hours.

A backup system rerouted urgent calls to individual police stations during the weekend shutdown.

Workers used hair dryers to clean the delicate circuit boards and restore the system by Sunday.

The trouble began Saturday afternoon when fire erupted in a City Hall storage room. Sprinklers quickly quelled the flames, but 2,000 gallons of water seeped down and soaked ceiling-high racks of circuit boards that link 911 operators to area emergency dispatchers.

``There were cables floating in six inches of water. That’s the kiss of death. People aren’t even allowed to drink coffee at their desks because they could spill it,″ said supervisor Monika Giles. ``We’re lucky it came back on at all.″

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