The Census Bureau in Suitland Maryland is closed because of a water main break.
That same water main break excused Non Emergency Employees from work at Andrews Air Force Base and shut down parts of the Beltway.
Tasha Boone, Assistant to the Associate Director for Communications at Census, told Federal News Radio, “We have not made a determination yet about tomorrow. Yet.”
Some progress has been made, reports sister station WTOP. The water from the burst 54-inch main has been restricted, limiting the flow.
“The amount of water is daunting, I know we will be here for a while,” WTOP’s Kristi King reports.
Crews from the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission are working at multiple valves to shut down the water flow completely, WSSC spokesperson Lyn Riggins says.
Boone said they’re working very closely with the WSSC and will hopefully know more later today. “Tomorrow, employees should listen to the news,” said Boone.
To be clear, flooding is not the problem at the Census Bureau offices at the Suitland Federal Center. Quite the opposite. The problem is a lack of water for the more than 4,000 employees who work at the Census offices there. “You can’t have employees working in a building where no water is available for bathrooms and consumption and food, et cetera,” explained Boone.
If possible, employees are encouraged to telework. Boone said the timing of the break, on a Monday morning, might make a difference. “If employees have work that they had with them that they can do, then they are, of course, encouraged to do that. For example, I myself had work that I took home over the weekend,” she said.