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Flooding Empties FCC

The Federal Communications Commission sent nearly 1,800 workers home early Wednesday afternoon following reports of flooding and other plumbing problems inside agency headquarters.

“There’s a problem with the water coming into our building, there is intermittent flooding affecting certain floors,” FCC spokesman Tamara Lipper said, reading an e-mail sent to FCC workers.

The 12-story FCC building, known as the Portals, is located on 12th Street in southwest D.C., near the National Mall overlooking the Potomac River and the monuments. Office buildings adjacent to the FCC were also involved, Lipper said.

Some FCC officials, including Lipper, remained at work. Commissioners Deborah Taylor Tate and Jonathan Adelstein and their aides were seen hanging out at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel while exiled on 12th Street.

“It’s hot, there’s no air conditioning and there’s no water,” Lipper said. “You can get in the building, but the e-mail asked for everyone to leave.”

There was no word on whether the FCC will be back in business Thursday. If NBC News flood reporter Michelle Kosinski shows up with her oar and canoe, the FCC crisis should be over soon.