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Metro call centers closed

9:25 p.m. Update: Flooding late Thursday and early Friday at Metro's Hyattsville offices appears to have been caused by a sprinkler system gone awry, officials said.

More than 300 call center and MetroAccess call center employees were told to stay away from the Belcrest Road facility, said spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. It was still unclear Friday afternoon when the building would be reopened.

1:15 p.m. Update: Metro's satellite offices in Hyattsville were flooded late Thursday, shutting down its customer call centers.

Water began streaming into the building at 6505 Belcrest Rd. late Thursday night, shutting down electricity, air conditioning and elevators in offices that house the transit agency's general information, MetroAccess and lost and found departments, officials said.

The building also houses several Prince George's County government offices, including the Paint Branch Clinic and its social services department, as well as several doctor's offices and a deli.

Metro's sixth and seventh-floor offices are located next to the Mall at Prince George's and two blocks away from the Prince George's Metrorail station.

Metro departments began relocating to the building from Silver Spring in August 2009, signing a 10-year, $10 million lease for about 40,000 square feet of space. At the time, the agency said it expected to save $6 million over the life of the lease compared to its Silver Spring costs.

It is not known when employees will be able to return to the affected offices, said Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. It is also unclear what caused the flooding, he said.

"We still have to make sure it's safe for our employees to re-enter the building," Taubenkibel said.

Customers seeking those services are being asked to use Metro's Web site. MetroAccess riders can still reserve trips online and Metro and Metrobus users can still plan their trips using the online trip planner.

Original post: The call centers for MetroAccess and general Metro information are closed due to flooding, according to transit officials.

There's been a flood in the leased building where those services are located, officials said in a statement. The closure also affects Metro's lost and found.

MetroAccess passengers can make reservations through the Metro Web site.

The online site also offers information on trip planning and places where you can make complaints.

By Michael Bolden  | September 24, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus  
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