NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Lights and running water are back in operation at the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office. Power was restored to both the office and jail around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night.
A blown main breaker for incoming electrical service has caused the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office to use a generator since Tuesday night.
Nacogdoches County Commissioner Charles Thomson said it will cost the county $20,000 to fix the problem with the breaker, which just went bad with age.
Thomson said while it has cut off electricity to the jail, all inmates are still locked and secured in their cells.
Thomson stood over the 25 year old breaker box and explained, "It is the main breaker for the whole sheriff's office and jail and what's happened is that it started arching out right here and it started to short out"
Luckily the equally old generator pulled through. The jail stayed well lit, all emergency doors were operable and inmates remained secure.
That's not to say there weren't some inconveniences. Jailers stood over smaller breaker boxes where circuits were switched off without any notice.
In order to conserve energy some administrators worked in subdue lighting. Not all computers were operable, so things were done the old fashioned way.
"All the messages we usually put on the computer, e mailing different officers, we're having to actually write 'em down and take them and post them in their boxes," said administration secretary Terry Smith.
According to Sheriff Jason Bridges over 200 inmates were kept comfortable even though some heating units were shut down. An extra blanket was provided too. Lights remained on in high security areas.
"We are basically at minimum standards because we are on a generator. All the life safety issues are working in the jail that are required to work," said Bridges. By three o'clock the main breaker had been pulled by White Electric.
Thomson, an electrician himself, watched over. "We're going to bypass the broken part."
Once the leads are rerouted the noisy generator can be turned off. Of course it will be used again when the final repair is made.
The repair could cost upwards of $20,000 says Thomson. He added, "The commissioners court is trying to do a jail assessment because we realize this building is old. It was built in 1989 and you know it's just old, stuff happens."