600 inmates impacted by water pipe leak at Nebraska State Penitentiary, officials say

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A water pipe leak is affecting about 600 inmates at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, corrections officials said Friday.

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services said the leak caused four housing units to be placed on “modified operations.”

In a press release, officials say modified operations can include confinement in cells for some inmates and the cancellation of work and program activities.

Corrections staff has provided portable restrooms and bottled water to the inmates who have been affected by the leak, officials say.

“The cause of the break has not yet been identified,” said Diane Sabatka-Rine, the department’s interim director, in the release. “The water and steam have been shut off to the housing units, shop areas and other support buildings. Meals will continue to be provided and served on Styrofoam trays, since the water is off.”

Once crews find the source of the leak, repairs will begin, according to officials.

“We hope to have water restored tomorrow,” Warden Michele Wilhelm said in the release. “Admittedly, that will depend on identifying the initial break and insuring no other leaks happen as the water is restored, which can sometimes occur with older pipes.”

If the water outage lasts longer than expected, Wilhelm said steps will be taken to ensure inmates have restrooms, bottled water and, if needed, showers in another location.

In November, a water leak temporarily closed down a housing unit, which impacted about 140 inmates.

SEE ALSO: ‘Rotting out’ pipes flood the Nebraska State Penitentiary with water, 2 feet of mud

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